RED BALL EXPRESS MOBILE OUTREACH PROGRAM:
What is the Red Ball Express?
The Red Ball Express is The National WWII Museum’s mobile educational outreach program. Named in honor of one of the most famous support units from the Second World War, today the Red Ball Express delivers dynamic, hands-on learning to schools and community groups within a 60 mile radius of New Orleans. Through the use of artifacts, activities and team-building exercises, Red Ball Express programming brings the history, lessons and legacy of World War II to life while putting students at the center of it all.
All Red Ball Express programming conforms to Louisiana Department of Education grade-level expectations and runs between 45 minutes to an hour in duration. Each Red Ball Express program also contains pre- and post-visit enrichment materials to deepen the learning experience. Interactive, hands-on learning at its best, the Red Ball Express is ready to roll to your school, classroom or community center, Monday through Friday, all year long. We currently offer four unique programs designed for all grade levels. Below, read descriptions of all available Red Ball Express programs and schedule your visit today!
SEEDS OF VICTORY (Elementary School)
‘Don't You Know There's A War On?' It was a common phrase that school-age children heard during WWII. In this program, students will explore some of the different ways young Americans did their part during wartime, so that those overseas would have enough. Students will go shopping using ration books, interpret propaganda posters and even plant the seeds of their own classroom Victory Garden. A great age-appropriate introduction to the Second World War and the important contributions made by some of America’s youngest citizens.
A LOOONG WAY FROM HOME (Middle School)
Wanna know why they called it a 'world' war? In this program, your students will learn all about the vast distances traveled by Americans during the Second World War using latitude and longitude, scale of miles, photograph analysis, and even a secret code to pinpoint important WWII locations on our six-foot inflatable Earth ball. From there your students will use all the information they gathered in constructing their own WWII sign post that puts your school in the center of it all—and it’s yours to keep! In this program, designed specifically for middle school students learning state or local history, participants will have a ball as they retrace the journeys taken by millions of brave Americans in the war that changed the world.
DOUBLE V (High School)
During the war years, American soldiers fought for victory in the Pacific and European Theaters. But did you know African Americans, both civilian and military, were also fighting for a victory in the struggle for racial equality? In this program your students will become curators to learn about Tuskegee Airmen, the Double Victory Campaign on the Home Front and more by holding and analyzing the artifacts used by the men and women who were there. Through artifact exploration, students will learn more about the African American experience during the war era and how racial discrimination affected their lives on the home front and in the military.
2 GR8 2 B 4GOTTEN (High School)
Glee Club, 4-H, prom, and bad hair. Ah, the joys of high school. In this program, the history of the WWII period is explored through the use of a primary source with which all students are familiar: the high school yearbook. Experiencing the war-years not as merely an additional assortment of names, places and dates, but through the eyes of students who lived through them puts today’s students at the center of the story as they discover how the lives of 1940s students were both similar and different to their own. How did American teenagers experience WWII? Was the war a big part of their daily lives? Your students might be surprised by what they find as they learn that many of the men and women of the Greatest Generation were high school students just like them.
WORLD WAR II: 101 (General Audience)
Participants discover just how much artifacts can teach us as students don white gloves and become curators and historians for a day in this engaging, hands-on program. Learn about using primary source material in the most direct way possible – through handling the genuine article! Students will explore World War II through the interpreting and investigation of letters, propaganda posters, ration books, uniforms, photographs, maps and many other artifacts, all dating from the WWII era. One of the Museum’s most popular programs, World War 2: 101 serves as a great introduction to the conflict as well as the many implications it still holds today.
One Program: $50
Two Programs: $75
Three Programs: $100
Multiple presentations at your school are encouraged.
The History of the Original Red Ball Express:
The Red Ball Express was created on August 25, 1944, in Normandy, France, to transport much-needed fuel and supplies to the advancing Allied armies. The Express, one of the most famous support units of WWII, got its name from the railroad slang term for a fast freight train. Thousands of truck drivers, 75% of them African Americans, hauled cargo through France almost non-stop from August to November of 1944.
By the time operation of the Express ended in mid-November 1944, it had transported more than 500,000 tons of supplies to the front!
How to Schedule:
For more information or to schedule a Red Ball Express visit, please contact Shelbie Johnson, Family Programs & Outreach Coordinator, at (504) 528-1944 425 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Travel – WWII Educational Tours
High school and college students, learn the leadership principles that helped win WWII on a trip to France or during a weeklong residential program in New Orleans. College credit is available, and space is limited.
See You Next Year! HS Yearbooks from WWII
Collected from across the United States, the words and pictures of these yearbooks present a new opportunity to experience the many challenges, setbacks and triumphs of the war through the eyes of America’s youth.
The Victory Gardens of WWII
Visit the Classroom Victory Garden Project website to learn about food production during WWII, find lesson plans and activities for elementary students, get tips for starting your own garden and try out simple Victory Garden recipes!
The Science and Technology of WWII
Visit our new interactive website to learn about wartime technical and scientific advances that forever changed our world. Incorporates STEM principles to use in the classroom.
Kids Corner: Fun and Games!
Make your own propaganda posters, test your memory, solve puzzles and more! Learn about World War II and have fun at the same time.