Two borough high school teachers attend C-SPAN educators conference

Two borough high school teachers attend C-SPAN educators conference|Two borough high school teachers attend C-SPAN educators conference
Photo courtesy of C-SPAN|Photo courtesy of Jamila Blades-Sumner

Two lucky, local high school social studies teachers attended an all-expenses-paid two-day teachers conference in Washington D.C.

C-SPAN, a group of channels providing public affairs programing on national government, invited teachers Jamila Baldes-Sumner of Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics and Victor Cristiano of Mount St. Michael Academy to attend C-SPAN Classroom’s 2016 Educators Conference.

The conference for a select group of teachers took place on Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15 in the nation’s capital. Travel, hotel accommodations and meals were provided free-of-charge.

The educators’ conference gave Blades-Sumner and Cristiano an opportunity to learn how C-SPAN programing and resources could be incorporated into their lesson plans to engage their students. They also gained more knowledge about the programming they produce.

Blades-Sumner said that her students have participated for the past four years in a C-SPAN video documentary contest called StudentCam.

She learned about the educator’s conference from the television channels education department, she said.

At the conference, Blades-Sumner learned to edit footage better, she said.

“I learned how to clip (edit) the videos,” said Blades-Sumner. “It was really cool to have someone walk you through that process.”

She said C-SPAN provided the lesson plans and classroom ideas.

The organization is funded by a monthly six-cent contribution per each cable TV subscriber.

“Everyone I spoke to at the conference told us how much they admired teachers and the work that they do,” said Blades-Sumner after the conference. “It was a wonderful experience.”

Cristiano, who will be entering his fourth year of teaching, said that he first learned of the conference from a Mount St. Michael administrator.

The teacher, who instructs students in freshman and sophomore Global Studies and Advanced Placement World History, said that he uses C-SPAN educational materials with his classes and that he is a strong proponent of this material.

“One of the things that we are going to be working on is really integrating the kinds of programming and resources that C-SPAN offers into our everyday lessons,” said Cristiano before the conference.

“I am really looking to bring C-SPAN not only to my classroom, but my colleagues classroom’s as well,” he said.

C-SPAN materials on the web at are especially helpful in his AP World History class, said Cristiano, where he uses short videos from the site to encourage classroom discussions among his students.

The all-expenses paid C-SPAN Classroom’s 2016 Educators Conference for teachers is a nice way for the organization to give back and say ‘thank you’ for the work teachers do, he said.

“I think it is very generous of C-SPAN to pay for the 30 of us, not just for myself, but the 29 other educators who are going (to Washington D.C.),” said Cristiano.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
Jamila Blades-Sumner of Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics took part in the C-Span conference.
Photo courtesy of Jamila Blades-Sumner