Alexander, Frist Announce Nearly $100 Million In American History and Civics Grants

Posted on May 2, 2003

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Bill Frist (R-TN) today announced the availability of nearly $100 million in funding through the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) "Teaching American History" grant program. "It is crucial that our children are taught the principles that unite us as Americans," said Alexander. "These grants will help put the teaching of American history and civics back into our classrooms. I encourage schools in Tennessee and across the country to apply." "I applaud the Department of Education for supporting efforts to ensure the teaching of civics and American history in our schools," said Frist. "If our children are to truly look to the future with open eyes, they must first see the foundation that drives the American spirit, shapes our government and defines us as a people. American history tells the story of what it means to be an American and how our nation overcomes and responds to the challenges it faces. I share Senator Alexander's pursuit to make American History a priority in education." The Teaching American History grant program supports three-year projects designed to achieve the following:
  • Improve teachers' knowledge, understanding and appreciation for American history through intensive, ongoing professional development.
  • Enable teachers to develop further expertise in content knowledge to effectively teach students about significant issues, episodes, individuals and turning points in the history of the United States.
  • Enhance student understanding of ideas, issues, and events in American history so they are more likely to exercise their civic rights and responsibilities.
  • Encourage the teaching of American history as a separate academic subject instead of a component to social studies.
Earlier this year, Alexander introduced his first bill, "The American History and Civics Education Act." The bill encourages the development of residential summer academies for students and teachers based on the successful Governor's School program in Tennessee that Alexander implemented as governor. The purpose of the academies is to inspire better teaching and more learning of the key events, persons and ideas that shape the institutions and democratic heritage of the United States. For more information about the Teaching American History grant program applications and guidelines visit the DOE online here.