The Gift of History program is intended to teach Orange County’s third graders that history is alive and all around them. Every third grade student is invited to Angel Stadium and are treated to a one-hour history lesson about the county they call home. Following the lesson, students are given a history book about Orange County, entitled Nothing Rhymes with Orange, which was written specifically for third graders.
This innovative vision calls for over 35,000 students from across our large and densely populated county to come together as neighbors and see that they are part of, and contributors to, something larger than themselves, their families, and local neighborhoods. Further, this vision reflects students’ developmental needs for concrete experiences, and capitalizes on the potential to create a sense of civic pride early to motivate our youth as they grow.
The program continues throughout the school year with current and relevant resources developed by curriculum experts. Students engage with non-fiction text and read maps and graphs. They also write informational essays about a topic that is personally relevant. Program partners demonstrate the extent to which they value county youth by rewarding classroom learning with a special celebration in which even more learning takes place.