"Students who know and appreciate the great ideas of American history will be well prepared to understand and exercise their civic rights and responsibilities. Their understanding of traditional American history will be enhanced if teachers make the study of history more exciting, interesting and engaging."

- Rod Paige
US Secretary of Education
October 2, 2001



"Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I will remember. Involve me and I will understand forever."
- Confucius
Our ability to survive as a nation depends on our belief in our purpose as a nation and to know the history of other nations and civilizations. However, we at American Destinations, Inc. feel it is more important that our students first learn the history of "our" great nation. So much of what we see and hear each day is a product of history and to understand it, we need a firm background knowledge of past historical events.

Given the clear and persuasive case for the value of knowing history, the result of a recent US History Assessment offers a troublesome picture. High school seniors registered truly abysmal scores - 57% fall below basic proficiency. In no other subject assessed by the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) do more than half of high school seniors registered below basic proficiency. Since high school seniors are close to voting age or have already reached it, one can only feel alarm that they know so little about their nation's history and express so little capacity to reflect on its meaning. These figures show that there are massive numbers of poorly educated young adults on the verge of graduating from our high schools - a situation profoundly damaging to their lives and future prospects. Such poor results in US history are cause for additional alarm at a time when the United States is under terrorist threat. Our ability to defend intelligently and thoughtfully, what we as a nation hol d dear, depends on knowledge and understanding that can only be achieved through learning the history we share.

You can make a difference! The US government supports programs designed to raise student achievement by improving the quality of teaching by strengthening teachers' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of American history. As educators, you have the opportunity to expand your classroom and provide a hands-on learning environment for you and your students through educational travel. Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Foreign Languages and English curricula require a lab component in which students practice concepts taught in the classroom. History's laboratory is America. By visiting the battlefields, landmarks and historical attractions found in every state of our country, you and your students can experience first-hand the events that shaped our nation. American Destinations, Inc. challenges you to engross your students and their parents in our great nation's past, share with them the laboratory that is our cities and towns and shape their futures with life changing lessons through e ducational travel. The lessons taught will be remembered for a lifetime!