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William R. Hoagland, Operations Crossroads Africa, and Teach Corp

William R. Hoagland wearing a ceremonial robe.

The Amistad Research Center has obtained the papers of educator William R. Hoagland. Hoagland served as the principal of the Yardville, Yardville Heights, and Groveville elementary schools in Hamilton Township in New Jersey. He was also an active member of the Trenton First Presbyterian Church, where he once served as a deacon and trustee.

Hoagland spent the summer of 1962 in Liberia after he was selected by Operations Crossroads Africa to participate in their Teacher-Training Program due to his expertise. Operations Crossroads Africa is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1958 to build links between North America and Africa through programs and service projects. The training program was created in order to assist in the training of African teachers. Hoagland would also journey to Sierra Leone in 1964 to take part in the National Education Association’s Teach Corp program doing similar work.

Hoagland (back row, first from left) with Teach Corp staff in Sierra Leone.

The Hoagland papers contain correspondence, notes, ephemera, photographs, and newspaper clippings that document his work with Operations Crossroads Africa in Liberia and with Teach Corp in Sierra Leone. Also present are other items such as sheet music, project handbooks, as well as maps and basic information about Liberia and Sierra Leone. These papers provide a valuable addition to Amistad’s collection of materials related to Operations Crossroads Africa—one of the organizations that inspired the formation of the Peace Corps in 1961.

Images from the William R. Hoagland papers. Images from the Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.

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