The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation Grant Funds Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Greater New York State Gilder Lehrman Affiliate Schools

NEW YORK CITY, January 2021 — The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLI) received a grant for a $1 million endowment gift, to be given over four years, from The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. The grant will support our work with the Institute’s Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and greater New York State Affiliate Schools and their students and teachers, building on a grant of $500,000 given in 2018.

The 2021 gift from the Gardiner Foundation will allow GLI’s Affiliate School program to give hundreds of K-12 schools and thousands of teachers and students across Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and greater New York state access to inspirational American history classroom materials and resources every year. The resources that GLI has provided include award-winning historians’ books, posters, calendars, lesson plans, and document booklets that elevate diverse and less well-known voices which have been absent from historical discussions.

The generous funding from the Gardiner Foundation will enable teachers from this geographic area to participate in the highly regarded summer Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars with eminent historians. Participating teachers have stated that these seminars are the best professional development they have attended in their careers and that they expect to use this knowledge for years to come.

“Supporting the Gilder Lehrman Institute’s programs means supporting hundreds of teachers and thousands of students who benefit from working with the Institute’s resources under the guidance of the top educators in the field of American history,” notes Kathryn Curran, executive director of the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation. “We are thrilled to provide vital support to the rich array of programs that the Gilder Lehrman Institute offers.”

The Institute’s work of making history accessible and engaging to all has never been more relevant. The Gardiner Foundation's giving to the Institute’s endowment, which began in 2009, has allowed the Institute to build and sustain its rich and diverse programming for Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and greater New York State Affiliate Schools.

“The generous funding directly benefits students and teachers of American history in profound ways, funding schools to receive indispensable resources through their Gilder Lehrman affiliation, enabling teachers to grow professionally through our world-class seminars, giving young historians their first significant experience in archival work, underwriting proven history programs at flagship schools, and giving college-bound students opportunities to expand their historical knowledge,” says Gilder Lehrman Institute president James G. Basker.

Established in 1987, the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation primarily supports the study of New York State history. Robert David Lion Gardiner was, until his death in August 2004, the sixteenth Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, New York. The Gardiner family and their descendants have owned Gardiner’s Island since 1639, obtained as part of a royal grant from King Charles I of England. The Foundation is inspired by Robert David Lion Gardiner’s personal passion for New York history. For more information, please visit

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 history education while also serving the general public. The Institute’s mission is to promote the knowledge and understanding of American history through educational programs and resources. Drawing on the 70,000 documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection and an extensive network of eminent historians, the Institute provides teachers, students, and the general public with direct access to unique primary source materials. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Organization of American Historians, and the Council of Independent Colleges.