The Gift of History program started over 10 years ago in the City of Anaheim when Gail Eastman wrote a book for third-graders, “Anna’s Home by the River,” telling the unique story of Anaheim’s history.
We invited Anaheim’s third-graders to the Forum next to City Hall to receive a free copy of the book and learn about their city’s history from the mayor and even Mickey Mouse, himself! The following year the event expanded to include more students and we had to move to the convention center. It became clear to us that we needed to think bigger.
So we commissioned Orange County historian Stan Oftelie to write “Nothing Rhymes with Orange,” a unique history book designed specifically for third-grade readers and to go along with the school curriculum requirements.
In 2011, we launched the county-wide program and hosted the “World’s Largest History Lesson” at Angel Stadium of Anaheim with a whopping 15,000 third-graders in attendance! We still hold the Guinness Book world record.
Just 5 years later, the Gift of History was chosen to receive the state of California’s leading education honor, the Golden Bell Award! That same year, we delivered free history books to all 37,000 third-graders across the entire county!
The Children’s Education Foundation of Orange County is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a registered charity with the State of California. Federal ID Number: 27-4823685 | State of California: CT017425