What is ECHO?
Do you love to explore the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the world?
Are you curious about people in lands far away?
Do you want to go beneath the surface of other cultures to find out what's really important near the North Pole, on a tropical island, in the lush Mississippi River valley, or in the shadow of New Bedford's fishing fleet?
If so, this website is for you.
What is ECHO?
ECHO is an acronym for Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations.
The ECHO partnership was established by Congress in 2001 as part of the No Child Left Behind legislation and was funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
The mission of ECHO is to increase understanding of and respect for the values, perspectives, traditions, forms of creativity, expression, and communication among the peoples of the United States, including Native Americans, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, in order that all may thrive in our increasingly diverse society. To achieve this mission, the ECHO partners have delivered innovative, culturally-based educational programs, cultural exchanges, internships, apprenticeships and other activities that have served as national models.
ECHO is made up of seven organizations:
- The Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage, Alaska
- The Bishop Museum in Honolulu, Hawai’i
- The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in Choctaw, Mississippi
- The New Bedford Whaling Museum
- The Ocean Explorium at New Bedford Seaport, Massachusetts
- The Inupiat Heritage Center in Barrow, Alaska
- The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts
What does the ECHO consortium do?
From 1999 through 2011, the ECHO consortium has delivered innovative, culturally-based educational programs, cultural exchanges, internships, apprenticeships and other activities that serve as national models.
Today, the ECHO institutions continue to offer similar programs, although each is now locally-based rather than a collaboration among the organizations.
For information on the types of programs ECHO has made possible in the past, click on one of the menu items on the sidebar to the right.
When can I participate in programs at ECHO institutions?
Visit the individual website of the ECHO institution nearest you for a calendar of events to find programs, internship opportunities, and workshops. Or, if nothing is planned in your community, explore this web site for fascinating and useful resources, teaching ideas, and information.
Why did Congress create ECHO?
ECHO is Congressional legislation dedicated to increasing educational opportunities and resources for children, teachers, and families. It works through several cultural and historical organizations to educate and inspire the public in ways that would not otherwise be possible.
From the legislation authorizing ECHO: “Cultural institutions can provide practical, culturally relevant, education-related internship and apprentice programs… to prepare youths and their families for careers in the cultural sector.
“The resources of the institutions (of ECHO) provide unique opportunities for illustrating and interpreting the contributions of Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, (Native Americans, and cultural institutions) for educating students and their parents, and for providing opportunities for internships and apprenticeships leading to careers with cultural institutions.” (ECHO legislation in No Child Left Behind)