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January 4, 2009

“Westward!” premieres Jan. 14, 2010

Colonial Williamsburg’s award-winning Electronic Field Trip series continues Jan. 14 with the premiere of “Westward!” Before the American Revolution, rugged independent colonists looked beyond the Appalachian Mountains for land and opportunity. “Westward!” explores those early days of expansion, highlighting the lives of Daniel and Rebecca Boone and their children in a gripping look at the harsh realities of life and the collision of cultures on the Kentucky frontier.

Daniel Boone led the way for settlement in present-day Kentucky. The program follows Boone biographer John Filson’s account of the personal physical hardships endured by the Boone family and their fellow settlers and the consequences of westward expansion for American Indians.

“Westward!” was produced in cooperation with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, U.S. National Park Service, located in the Appalachian Mountains where Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia meet; and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, Wilderness Road State Park, home of Martin’s Station, located in the far western region of Virginia.

Produced by Colonial Williamsburg’s division of productions, publications and learning ventures, electronic field trips are broadcast one Thursday each month from October through April at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on participating PBS stations and cable channels across the country. Targeted to grades 4–8, the distance learning programs span a broad range of historical subjects about people, issues and events from the colonial period to the present day.

Each electronic field trip is supported with lesson plans, interactive student resources, program scripts and other materials to help teachers make history exciting and relevant for their students. All materials have been developed by teachers, historians and museum educators and meet state standards for history, technology, art and literacy. Selected programs also correlate to additional state standards related to the program’s subject.

Students in participating schools may submit pre-recorded video questions, share a project via live video Web chats, e-mail or call in questions to costumed interpreters and historians during the live televised broadcast. Registered users also may view electronic field trips and use teacher and student resources via the Internet on demand any time during the school year.

As the nation’s leading educational resource for early American history, Colonial Williamsburg uses the Internet and live interactive television broadcasts to bring American history to life for more than one million students and four million other viewers each year. For more information and pricing, or to subscribe to the electronic field trip series, visit www.history.org/trips, call 1-800-761-8331, or e-mail eftsupport@cwf.org.

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage. Additional information on America's almost 400 national park sites can be obtained at www.nps.gov.

Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at www.history.org. Each purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280



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