HISTORY(TM) is set to launch its most ambitious, wide-ranging educational initiative in the history of the network. This unprecedented national outreach effort will speak to students about America tied to the upcoming series, AMERICA THE STORY OF US, an epic 12-hour television event covering 400 years of American history which will begin to premiere on HISTORY on Sunday, April 25 at 9pm ET. The announcement was made today by Nancy Dubuc, President & General Manager, HISTORY.
In conjunction with the broadcast, HISTORY will launch its largest ever educational outreach and will for the first time offer a DVD of the entire 12-hour series to every single school in America including all accredited colleges free of charge.
As part of this sweeping campaign, the network will connect with every school in America with curriculum materials developed to provide teachers with exciting ways to engage students in American history.
“AMERICA THE STORY OF US is the largest programming event and educational initiative HISTORY has ever undertaken,” said Ms. Dubuc. “Our goal is to reach every student in America, to inspire them to dive into American history in a new way and to be a part of history in the making. We want to ignite a fervent national conversation about our past and what it means to be an American today.”
Ms. Dubuc continued, “We are extremely proud of the educational backbone of this series, the biggest commitment we’ve every made, including making the full 12-hour series available to every single school in the country on DVD. In my mind, what Eyes on the Prize was to civil rights education, AMERICA THE STORY OF US will be to U.S. history. With its innovative and fresh approach to learning about the history of our nation, we think the series will quickly become an integral part of school curriculums throughout the country.”
In a country where history often receives less and less emphasis in schools, many Americans are unaware of key facts, from the broad to the specific from critical American innovations that changed the course of world history to the origins of the Statue of Liberty .
The curriculum materials will include images, teaching resources and study suggestions as well as video clips designed to equip students with key facts and information regarding our nation’s history. Libraries and schools nationwide will be encouraged to begin an all encompassing dialogue about the history of this nation, in detail and on a broad scale.
The AMERICA THE STORY OF US educational initiative and outreach includes:
* Student Video Challenge with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and The Institute of Museum and Library Services Students connect their own stories linking them to the larger story of American history, such as their family’s immigration story, school’s anniversary, or community’s Civil War history. They can work in small groups or as individuals, and create a multimedia or video presentation. $25,000 in prizes to be awarded. The Student Challenge will have middle, high school, and college level categories. Students will be encouraged to use the resources of the Library of Congress, the National Archives and local sources.
* Library Contest with the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and The Institute of Museum and Library Services A contest among local libraries throughout the entire U.S. will award a total of $35,000 in prizes to winning libraries for outstanding cross-platform exhibitions tied to American history. Libraries will be encouraged to develop public programs and community conversations on a variety of topics in American history. HISTORY will also provide participating libraries with copies of AMERICA THE STORY OF US, once it’s available on DVD.
* Teacher Contest: Innovation in History Education Leaders in innovative history education will submit their best lesson plan for American history (must be associated with a school or a registered home school program) for $25,000 in prizes and resources.
* Resources for Teachers in Collaboration with the Library of Congress For the 2010-2011 school year, HISTORY and the Library will continue their K-12 collaboration through The IDEA Book and links on History.com to primary sources and lesson plans for American history (www.loc.gov/teachers).
* A focus on innovation in American history with a special webcast for teachers and students on May 6, 2010 A live webcast produced with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will focus on innovation in American history. The webcast will include a panel of historians responding to questions from the audience.
* Exclusive multimedia content and educational resources Including extensive primary source materials will be featured at www.history.com/classroom.
* Educational magazine The Idea Book for Educators, featuring AMERICA THE STORY OF US, includes preparatory suggestions for middle and high school classes. The Idea Book reaches 750,000 educators, and will include information about contests associated with the series.
* Newspapers in Education a syndicated newspaper insert focused on the series, which will be available to viewers in participating local areas and online.
* The extensive education outreach initiative for AMERICA THE STORY OF US will also include a full size poster, family viewing guides, and a colorful 8 page teacher’s guide – mailed to over 35,000 middle schools and high schools nationwide.
Organizations HISTORY is working with:
American Association for State and Local History, Institute for Museum and Library Services, The Library of Congress, National Council for History Education, National History Day, Organization of American Historians, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the local branches of these organizations.
To learn more go to: www.history.com/classroom
AMERICA THE STORY OF US, premiering Sunday, April 25 at 9pm ET on HISTORY, tells the extraordinary story of how America was invented, looking at the moments where Americans harnessed technology to advance human progress — from the rigors of linking the continent by transcontinental railroad, the internet of its day, to triumphing over vertical space through construction of steel structured buildings to putting a man on the moon.
The series is also a story of conflict — Native American wars, slavery, the revolutionary war that birthed the nation, the civil war that divided it and the great world wars that shaped its future. This is an intensive look at the forces that have shaped our nation – the people, places and things that created this most astounding country. It’s a tough and thrilling adventure. And all throughout, viewers will hear thoughtful insights from some of America’s most respected artists, business leaders, academics and intellectuals.