Congress Provides 200,000 to Improve History Education;
National History Day Helps Improve Wisconsin School District
AScribe Newswire February 4, 2002 Monday
WASHINGTON, Feb. 5 [AScribe Newswire] -- The federal government has awarded
the D.C. Everest School in Schofield, Wisconsin a $200,000 appropriation as part
of the federal education bill. The funding will be used to improve history
education using a curriculum model developed by the National History Day, Inc.
The money from the FY2002 bill will allows the district to collaborate with
the Wisconsin State Historical Society and pay D.C. Everest teachers to create
curriculum materials and plan in-service teacher training programs. Financial
support will also be used to improve the National History Day [NHD] program that
is already part of the D.C. Everest School curriculum. The funding is designed
to help improve history education for underserved communities, particularly the
Hmong and American Indian population in the district.
National History Day is a yearlong education program through which students
create projects in the form of documentaries, exhibits, performances and papers.
The academic program helps teachers meet education standards and fosters
students' enthusiasm for learning. Through NHD, over 700,000 young Americans
annually develop an appreciation of their heritage and essential life skills
that will help them in college and in the workplace. The program has received
the Charles Frankel Prize for public programming in the humanities from the
National Endowment for the Humanities, and is highlighted in the Presidential
Committee on Arts and Humanities report, Creative America, as an "exemplary
In the last National Assessment of Educational Progress over one-third of
eight graders failed to reach the "basic level" of history understanding, and a
recent study by Colonial Williamsburg highlights the decline in America's
historical literacy. "We hope that Congress will look at what the NHD program
has achieved and will expand and support the program in the same way that it
supports the National Writing Project to improve student writing," said Dr.
Cathy Gorn, executive director of NHD.
"Investing in our young people's future is one of our foremost
responsibilities, and ensuring that our schools have the resources to provide a
solid education is the first step toward achieving that goal," explains Rep.
Obey of Wisconsin. "The results of this project will eventually be used as a
model to create a program which will improve history education throughout the
district and the country."
The National History Day program has helped to improve history education
across the country and is a required part of the curriculum in many school
districts. "Students who know and appreciate American history are well prepared
to understand and exercise their civic rights and responsibilities," states U.S.
Secretary of Education Rod Paige in a news release about American history.
School districts and educators can learn more about the National History Day
program by calling 301-314-9739, or by visiting the official NHD website at
Melissa Maranda, National History Day, 301-314-9542;