Superintendent’s Memo No. 279-14

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

October 10, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Announcement of a New Resource for Teaching Virginia History

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to bring to your attention a new instructional resource, Keepers of the Flame, produced by the Virginia Capitol Foundation.  Keepers of the Flame is the first educational film produced for the State Capitol.  It has a two-pronged mission: to tell the stories of those Virginians throughout history who have kept the flame of freedom, liberty, and democracy alive and flourishing; to tell the history of America's first monument to democracy.  The film features compelling stories of individuals who have made an impact on Virginia history from well-known figures like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington to high school student Barbara Johns, who led her fellow Moton High School students to a walkout protesting school segregation, which became part of the landmark legislation of Brown v. Board of Education.  This film, coupled with the Capitol’s ongoing educational programs and exhibits, tells the story of Virginia’s representative government and celebrates the Commonwealth’s central role in American history with a goal of inspiring viewers to appreciate and become involved with public service.

The Keepers of the Flame, a visually interactive film, is available online.  An accompanying resource, Keepers of the Flame Student Activity Book is also available online.

If you need additional information about Keepers of the Flame, please contact Betsy Barton, history and social science specialist, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.