Important Message about Program Changes This Year
We would like to thank all of our sponsors and participants for helping us create a hands-on learning experience over the past 10 years. However, in an effort to extend the reach and depth of our program for even more third-grade students in Orange County, we have decided to make some rather historic changes this year.
We will not be offering a field trip to Angel Stadium
We know this is a disappointment to many schools who have participated in the World's Largest History Lesson year over year. Unfortunately, the stadium format has become increasingly limiting in how we can teach Orange County history to our students. In order to enhance the educational experience, we are going to take our history lesson out of the stadium and put it directly into the classrooms with even better tools available to support the third-grade social studies curriculum.
We will be delivering history books to every student in Orange County
Our priority for the Gift of History program is to provide tools to students and teachers to better learn and enjoy Orange County history. We are very proud that for the past two years, we have been able to deliver copies of "Nothing Rhymes with Orange," to all of the third-grade students in Orange County. That's over 37,000 students! "Nothing Rhymes with Orange" by Stan Oftelie is a unique history book about Orange County specifically written for third-graders. We have received positive feedback about the book and the experience for students when they receive their very own age-appropriate chapter book that they can take home.
We will be offering even more in-class tools and resources
Last year, our program won a Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association. This was a proud moment for us, but it also made us think about how we can be better partners with the Orange County Department of Education to make this program more available to all the teachers and students throughout the entire county. With that in mind, OCDE has been helping us develop a new curriculum guide to support the teaching of Orange County history and the book, "Nothing Rhymes with Orange" inside the classroom. Also, we are developing a new and improved video lesson that will allow us to combine all of the best components of our history lesson and make it available to watch from the comfort of your own school. We hope this new format will not only be easier logistically (have you ever tried to get 10,000 third-graders to all sit still and listen at Angel Stadium?), but also make it easier for students to hear the characters and learn the content. Our sponsors are still committed to supporting education and we will be able to deliver on the "Gift" of History with these educational tools and more for our students.
Thank you for your patience
We've got a lot of work ahead of us to make all of this happen, but we still plan to make this program available for the 2017/18 school year - but not until March 2018. Join our mailing list and keep an eye out for additional communications as we work through all of these changes.