The Georgia Trust


The heritage education program of The Georgia Trust.


Talking Walls, the Georgia Trust’s heritage education program since 1991, operates throughout Georgia, helping teachers bring history home to their communities by training them to use local historic resources as teaching tools in their lessons, including social studies, language arts and visual arts. These resources include historic properties, old documents and photographs, and oral histories.

The Georgia Trust selects counties for the program based on size, geographic location and level of community support, with the goal of involving all of Georgia in the program.

Partnering with school systems and community organizations, the Trust compiles extensive heritage resource guides for teachers, including historical documents, maps, photographs, information about local historic sites and other materials related to the cultural traditions and history of the community. Teachers also learn about and develop projects involving local historic resources through week-long, facilitated, hands-on workshops.

The goal of Talking Walls is to help students understand and appreciate:

  • their community’s local historic resources, so they will develop a sense of place and stewardship
  • the historic sites, structures, artifacts and documents that give insight into their community’s history and development
  • the cultural and folk traditions of their communities
  • their community’s contributions to the cultural heritage of Georgia and the United States

Heritage education seeks to nurture a preservation ethic in the learner. Close examination of historic places allows for the expansion and increased understanding of the experiences and cultural expressions that build the foundation for our heritage. Citizen involvement is essential for heritage education because thoughtful decision-making for today and tomorrow is based on a comprehensive understanding of the past.

Talking Walls had reached a network of over 1,765 teachers. Through these teachers, the program has reached more than 372,000 students in 63 school systems in 54 counties.

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