History Day

DO YOU know when the Civil War was fought or who our nation fought during World War I?

That’s basic historical information, yet a survey a few years ago revealed that 57 percent of 17-years-olds across the United States did not know the answers to those two questions.

It is shameful that many teenagers and others aren’t aware of the nation’s history.

History is a required course in schools, and many teachers – some in Eastern Ohio – develop special programs which encourage students to learn more about history in depth.

THE OHIO Historical Society has several programs to enhance history education in Ohio and recently announced that it is seeking funds from residents to help in this effort. More information about donating funds is on the society’s Web site.

Among other projects, OHS coordinates National History Day in the state, described as “a statewide competition that inspires over 7,000 students to discover transformational events in American and world history. Through hands-on learning experiences, History Day improves student test performance as well as their writing and research skills.”

Then, there’s the society’s “History To Go” van, which travels to schools across the state. It involves interactive classroom activities and costumed storytellers from the past.

An online social studies textbook for fourth graders was initiated this fall by the OHS, and it was noted the e-textbook has been a hit as more than 20,000 students in the Buckeye State already use in classrooms and at home.

ADULTS as well as students can learn more about the past by visiting historic sites not only in Ohio but elsewhere in the nation.

Anyone who doesn’t learn more about history misses a lot. It helps us learn more about present conditions and also about people in the past.

As the late Dexter Perkins, a prominent authority on U.S. history, noted, “History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.”