Announcing Our New American History Textbook:
America: Land of Principles and Promises
Founders' Principles - Tomorrow's Promises
American History from Discovery to Reconstruction
Every once in a while a long awaited event comes to pass. This month is one of those times. We announce the publication of an American History textbook that contains this nation's story from Columbus to the post-Civil War period.
A Dream Come True
For over thirty years, NCCS has been educating Americans on the Founders' story of freedom, and particularly on the principles underlying our great Constitution. After doing so for many years, and enjoying teaching seminars to audiences of all ages, I personally had a growing desire to try to get this message to the younger generation, that is, those who mostly would be responsible to fix the mess caused by my generation. In making the attempt, it became clear that it could not happen under the bureaucratically controlled educational system that had developed in every state of this union. Then the legislature of my state passed a law allowing for charter schools to develop under a very different, free-market oriented system. My friends in the legislature knew of my desire and encouraged me to apply for a charter and Heritage Academy was born-one of the first charter schools in Arizona -nearly 18 years ago. This perhaps would be the vehicle to begin to introduce high school-age students to America 's story in the tradition of the Founding Fathers. It has proven to be so, and continues to be a thrill to see these young people light up with correct principles before they face other political philosophies in college.
One of the challenges in our junior and senior high school has been to find an appropriate textbook on American History. Most such books used in schools today would be unacceptable to the Founders and have been unacceptable to us. After years of searching, it became clear that the kind of book we wanted probably didn't exist in useable form and so we would have to create our own. I had determined that if there is one lasting written legacy our school would have, it must be an acceptable textbook for the modern-day school classroom. This dream has finally come to fulfillment.
America 's story must be emblazoned
on the hearts of our young people
The Foreword to the textbook tells the story:
" This book represents the dream of many people over many years. There are many histories written about America, but unless a student delves deeply into the older, multi-volume works of early historians, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of American history as it really happened. This book was written as an attempt to bring some exciting events, stories, and personalities from early America once again to the forefront of the history class. Living history involves the lives of great people, and no history can be told without involving the lives and accomplishments of great people of history. Heritage Academy is a charter junior and senior high school in Mesa, Arizona. Its mission statement includes the following:
'Heritage Academy is dedicated to youth, their growth and development. The purpose of education is to build strong character. Strong character is reflected in strong families, strong communities and a strong nation. While teaching the academic disciplines, Heritage Academy is dedicated to instilling into the minds and hearts of today's youth knowledge of and respect for the ideals and values of the great men and women of history, including those who founded the American nation. As today's rising generation gains an appreciation of these people of accomplishment, they will be ready to provide the selfless service to their fellow citizens and to their country which will be required in the coming years to assist in preserving America 's greatness. Heritage Academy exists to this end.'
"For most of the years Heritage Academy has been in existence, Mrs. Sandi Reid has been a favorite teacher of American History. Her stories, her examples, her enthusiasm, her strict attention to detail, her teaching techniques in the classroom, and her insistence that students learn good behavior and citizenship in the classroom, have made her a never-to-be-forgotten teacher in the hearts of the students at our school. As Mrs. Reid approached retirement, we decided to make the attempt to capture some of her love for America in a new textbook. This book is the result of that desire. Over several years, she has been doing extensive research, writing and re-writing, field testing the material in the classroom, and involving many others to read, proof read, and to make suggestions for its improvement.
"This book contains many facts, dates, and details of American history. It meets the required state standards for instruction on early American history. But history is much more than this, and if that is all that is gleaned from this book, then its main message has been missed. The study of history can change lives because it shows that goodness and truth ultimately prevail. History shows us that standing for right, sometimes against terrible odds, leads to greatness. History shows that evil always loses in the end. History shows that respect for the equal rights of others always leads to greater advancement of mankind. America needs young people who know and feel what history teaches. America needs great leaders again. We at Heritage Academy have great faith that the rising generation will take the lead in restoring America 's greatness. Today's youth will play a major role in the exciting events yet to come. We hope this book will help them fulfill their manifest destiny, as America fulfills hers."
The author and memorable teacher of youth, Sandra Dee Reid
In her classroom teaching, Mrs. Reid always tried to emulate her own mother. In the Acknowledgement page of the book she writes:
"Initially, my love for America came from the teachings of my precious mother. From my youngest childhood, I was taught to love and respect the great Founders of this country, the importance of being a patriot, and standing up for America. As a student of the Constitution, mother led by example showing me how to be a good citizen and patriot. I stand eternally grateful for her example. And lastly, to the noble men and women who, against formidable odds and at the risk of their very lives, accepted the call to serve as the Founders of this great nation, I join with this grateful nation in saying thank you, and pledge to do my part to see that the liberty they secured for all of us will always prevail."
As her classroom scholars listened to her tell the stories of America's Founding and Founders, they could not help but feel the same conviction and love for America growing in their hearts. That's real teaching!
This book will draw you into its pages
This book is printed in full color and is in a durable, hardcover, textbook form. Its 550 pages include the following items:
The first chapter teaches geography terms and techniques so students become familiar with maps and places. (This complies with many states' standards for junior high school and high school American History courses.)
The next twelve chapters cover the discovery and founding eras through the adopting of the Constitution.
The remaining eleven chapters take us through history divided up by each president's term in office. A student develops a clear understanding of the accomplishments of each person we have elected as the leader of our country.
There are ten appendices in the book. The first one is discussion of the spectrum of politics and the Founders' search for the best position on the political spectrum for freedom and liberty to blossom. Teaching students these concepts will help them decide, as they study the rest of the book, whether a specific act of a president or congress or the courts has led the nation in the right or the wrong direction on the political spectrum. Most young people in American schools have never been exposed to this most crucial teaching.
One of the most valuable parts of any history book is its index. This book contains a 45-page index including nearly every possible reference a student will need to look up.
Included in the book, and all properly indexed, are dozens of exciting stories that were a part of America 's founding. Some of these true stories are new to most young people but carry the character building messages so critical for our youth today.
Twenty-eight Patriot Profiles will help students understand the trials and successes, as well as the values and ideals of those who built the nation.
Did you ever wish you could read a history book that would never become outdated, but is always up-to-date? You will notice at the end of each chapter is a Quick Response (QR) code, which looks something like this:
Using an electronic device with an application to read QR codes, the student or teacher can immediately access our websites and view additional information, updates, endnote website links, study helps, etc. With this feature, America , Land of Principles and Promises can be constantly brought current as new information becomes available or additional study helps are developed. The QR code at the end of each chapter is specific to that chapter. Also, if the student wishes, the same chapter updates may be accessed by going to www.hamesa.com
Sandra Reid's closing remarks in the book are under the heading:
"Passing the Torch
"In the words of Abraham Lincoln, the teacher of American history today says to the students in classrooms across this land:
'In your hands, my young fellow students and citizens, lies the future of our country.'
"If the coming generation is more faithful to the ideals of economy, industry, and honesty; of order, freedom and service than the present generation has been, then we shall be going forward toward the fulfillment of the destinies of the Republic. If the coming generation is even a little less faithful to these ideals, then we shall be headed down the road to degeneracy, defeat, and decay. Could there be a more inspiring task for the youth of our schools than to study America 's past policies with understanding and meet her future problems with courage and knowledge? In the ancient Greek games was a relay race in which the runner at the end of his lap handed on the lighted torch to his successor. It is a parable of all education and a symbol of ever-renewing life. The torch of our history was kindled at the sacred altar of liberty by the Founders' principles, ensuring tomorrow's promises. Let it be your pledge and mine to bear it well."
A fulfillment of a desire of George Washington
George Washington stressed the absolute necessity of teaching the younger generation concerning the foundations of our government. Said he:
"A primary object...should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing...than...communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?"
This textbook is part of our contribution to help make Washington's desire a reality.
A pre-publication offer
At this time the book is at the printer and the anticipated completion date is the end of September. The retail price is $59.95. Those wishing to receive a copy of the first publication and take advantage of the pre-publication offer of $39.95 should order their copy by clicking here. Orders received after publication will be at the regular retail price.
Thank you for your support and desire to help "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land...."
Earl Taylor, Jr.