Why do American students and graduates know so little about our county’s history? 2015 data shows that only between 18 and 27 percent of students scored “proficient” or “higher” in the areas of U.S. history, geography, and civics. And, these statistics have changed very little for some time now. Perhaps we are cramming too many facts into our children’s heads, instead of inspiring them with stories that let our students visualize the journey.
Author Richard (Dick) L Gustafson has spent several years creating an interactive e-book called Spirit of ’76—Renewed to tell the story of the American journey and the significance of the American miracle. This short two hour story is an abridged history of America from its colonization to its recent past. The story is a read-along e-book with narrative, period music, hundreds of photos and Internet links that expand the scope of the story. The presentation provides an audio-visual timeline of important historical events and the people who have had the greatest influence on the direction of our county.
The author believes that giving students a bird’s eye view of America’s timeline is a winning approach for comprehending and retaining facts about history. Internet links in the e-book allow students to quickly explore the details that are summarized in the story’s timeline. Dick Gustafson says “I want to help our country’s children know our past so that they can make educated decisions as adults to guide America’s future. Isn’t that what history is all about?”
At 80 years of age, Mr. Gustafson is seeking support from the American community to help with his campaign to provide this and other stories to teachers and students nationwide through crowdfunding. Please visit Dick’s website at http://spiritof76renewed.org and his Indiegogo fundraising campaign at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/american-history-to-renew-the-spirit-of-our-nation/ to learn more.