Viroqua Middle School chosen for Lincoln Online Oratory Project

Viroqua Middle School chosen for Lincoln Online Oratory Project

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Ten schools from 10 states were selected to participate in the 2020 Lincoln Online Oratory Project (LOOP), a national initiative from Ford’s Theatre. The Lincoln Online Oratory Project is designed to help educators introduce Abraham Lincoln’s leadership and the fundamentals of public speaking into their classroom and provides an opportunity for students to put these skills into practice.

Classrooms taking part in the Lincoln Online Oratory Project during the current school year will participate in three virtual lessons with a Ford’s Theatre Teaching Artist via video conference. In a culminating project, students will work together to perform and video record one of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches. These videos will be shared with a national audience on the official Ford’s Theatre YouTube channel at Classrooms will share their experience with Ford’s Theatre on Twitter during a “Virtual Festival” on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

The 2019-2020 participating classrooms include Viroqua Middle School. Kari Hanson, a teacher at Viroqua Middle School, said their recording will take place in the spring, and the students’ performances may be televised on the community channel. Students will meet with their teaching artist Scott Abernathy for a total of three times.

Through oratory education programs like LOOP, teachers are better able to address the often-overlooked speaking and listening components of the Common Core and state-specific standards in literacy. Additionally, through the study of President Lincoln’s oratory, students learn the valuable life skill of confident and effective public speaking, develop a sense of civic responsibility, and build a broader understanding of President Lincoln’s historical significance.

“The Lincoln Online Oratory Project is an exciting opportunity for Ford’s Theatre to support students, no matter where they are located,” said Ford’s Theatre Associate Director for Arts Education Cynthia Gertsen. “LOOP allows students across the country to share their public-speaking skills and demonstrate the far-reaching and long-lasting power of President Lincoln’s oratory.”

Schools and teachers interested in learning more about the Lincoln Online Oratory Project should visit or reach out to

Videos from previous LOOP participants can be found at

Ford’s Theatre education programs are supported by Lead Education Sponsor BP America with additional support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, Comcast NBCUniversal, Southern Company, United Airlines and Visa Inc.


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