Education News for May 2021
Milo Lemert
In honor of Memorial Day, this primary source features a World War I Medal of Honor recipient from Crossville, Tenn. Milo Lemert was a 28-year-old farmer before enlisting in the United States Army in June 1917. Lemert was killed in action in Bellicourt, France, on Sept. 29, 1918, after charging an enemy emplacement. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroic efforts.  Five other Tennesseans, including Alvin C. York, received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the Great War, though Lemert was the only recipient killed in action.  

This featured primary source is from our Tennessee Gold Star Records, which were compiled from information gathered by the soldiers’ families in the 1920s. Depending on the soldier, these records may include diaries, letters, newspaper articles and photographs. Milo Lemert’s Gold Star file includes letters and poems about his military service and ephemera from his memorial service in Crossville.

Another World War I-era soldier, Sgt. Alvin C. York, was a poor blacksmith and farmer from Fentress County, Tenn. He went on to become one of the most decorated and famous soldiers from that era. You may have seen the film made about his life, "Sergeant York," on television around the 4th of July or Veterans Day. Try this digital breakout and explore primary and secondary sources about York's life and military service to discover why he was so famous and how he became the World War I version of a viral celebrity!

This source meets the 5.49 and US.25 Tennessee social studies standards.

Discussion Questions:

1) According to the letters submitted for the Gold Star Record, what new weaponry aided Milo Lemert in his heroic task?

2) How are Milo Lemert’s actions and Alvin C. York’s actions similar?

3) According to the Gold Star Record for Milo Lemert, what was his rank when he enlisted and his final rank?  Who is listed as his next of kin?

4) Milo Lemert enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the infantry.  What is the role of the infantry?

Click here to access the Library and Archives Tennessee World War I Gold Star Records collection.

For more primary sources on World War I, visit our website.
DocsBox Reservations
DocsBox reservations have returned as of May 3, 2021, and we are excited that teachers can bring the Archives to their classrooms again! Reservations are open to educators in all 95 counties. These DocsBoxes are educational resources that provide hands-on original and reproduction materials and historical primary sources that supplement the Tennessee social studies curriculum standards.  Topics range from various wars that Tennesseans participated in to the social and economic features of the Roaring Twenties. Each DocsBox includes creative and unique lesson plans created by current classroom teachers and all the materials needed for the different activities.  Several new DocsBoxes have been added.

Each DocsBox has a two-week reservation period. If multiple teachers in a school want to use the DocsBox, it can be reserved for an additional week. This additional week must be confirmed in the original reservation.

Click here to view the available DocsBoxes and to reserve for the 2021-2022 school year.

To reserve the DocsBox:
  • Select the DocsBox you would like to reserve
  • View the appropriate DocsBox calendar for availability
  • Fill out the contact form for the specific DocsBox with an open availability
  • Wait for confirmation from education staff
Tennessee State Library and Archives
The Tennessee State Library and Archives has a new home! Our new facility is located at 1001 Rep. John Lewis Way N., bordering the northeast end of the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park in downtown Nashville. The new building provides more archival storage space, restoration tools, a grand reading room, classrooms, meeting spaces, a new blast freezer used to save materials damaged by water or insects, and a conservation lab to restore books, photographs and documents. We also have increased accessibility, improved climate controls and convenient parking.

The Education Outreach team will be hosting fun and engaging on-site programming focused on our primary source collection, such as teacher workshops, summer camp and research visits for National History Day participants and other history students!

The Library and Archives reopened to the public on April 13, 2021. Email to make an appointment.

Click here to see video and photos of our new building along with Library and Archives facts and figures.

News from Education Outreach 

Teachers, you have done heroic work this year! Our Education team at the Library and Archives remains in awe of your commitment to Tennessee’s children. You stepped up and responded to a difficult situation, focusing on the well-being of the students you were teaching virtually or in-person during the challenge of a worldwide pandemic. You made a difference in the lives of so many this year!
Best wishes for a restful summer. Thank you for all the important work you do to serve our communities!
Kelly Wilkerson, Education Outreach Coordinator

Activities for Early Learners 

For our youngest learners in grades K-3, we offer two new resources: lesson plans and recorded story times based on popular children’s books.  In this issue’s featured book, Lucky to Live in Tennessee by Kate B. Jerome, students will learn about Tennessee and its many wonders.  Students will use primary and secondary sources from the Tennessee State Library and Archives to explore our great state!
Click here for lesson plans and recorded storytimes for this title and others.

Collaborative Summer Library Program 2021

With school ending soon, that means your local public library is gearing up for summer reading! This year’s Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) theme is Tails and Tales – telling animal stories and exploring the world of animals. Be sure to reach out to your public library to discuss grade-appropriate reading lists, reading challenges, the READsquared app and all the resources libraries provide to prevent the summer slide. Our libraries have marketing they can share with schools to promote their summer reading programs for all ages – including parents! Keep encouraging your students to read, learn and keep those brains working over the summer so that when you see them again in the fall, they will be ready to start in-person learning again.
Remember to contact your local public library for more information on the Collaborative Summer Library Program 2021.

Transparent Language Online

One great way to learn about a new place and culture is to learn the language! The Tennessee Electronic Library,, offers free accounts to Transparent Language Online for all Tennesseans. Immerse yourself in French, Spanish, Italian, German or English. Or take some courses in less commonly taught languages like Ojibwe or Balinese. You’ll get to practice listening, reading, writing and speaking one or many languages using your computer, phone or tablet. Sign up for a free account and start learning the language and culture of people across the world!
Our mission is to exceed the expectations of our customers, the taxpayers, by operating at the highest levels of accuracy, cost-effectiveness and accountability in a customer-centered environment.
Twitter Facebook Instagram YouTube
Subscribe to our email list.