It all started with an idea. Arthur and Mary Rouse wanted something more from the music their children were hearing on the radio when they seized upon a solution. Songs could have dramatic plots...but what would be the content? Why not tell stories from American history through song, contemporary sounding music that young people would like and would have all the passion, mystery and intrigue of an action-adventure drama.
In response to this idea, Electron Farm Publications has created History Happens. Our vision is to become the premier originator of stories from American history on music video and the Internet by the turn of the millennium. The primary marketplace for History Happens is education. We will deliver our product to children, ages 8-15, and teachers across the nation through in-school distribution. Our secondary market is in-home use. Parents may acquire History Happens through student take-home literature and select retail sale. A tertiary delivery system is television and radio play. This model is similar to Scholastic's Magic School Bus or ABC's School House Rocks.
The underlying concept behind History Happens, which is supported by a significant body of research, is that music enhances learning. Teachers and school administrators agree. In a test market of over 1,000 elementary and middle schools, more than 98% of respondents said the project supports their core curriculum requirements and engages their students. Ninety-two percent requested future editions of the videos and teachers' guides. The project is unique and gaining popularity. Our songs have been performed by the New Jersey All-State Fifth Grade Choir. Our web site (www.ushistory.com) has been visited by parents, teachers and children from urban areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas, New York and Seattle, as well as thousands of rural locations across America. The award winning site has been hyperlinked by classrooms in Massachusetts and Kentucky as a model interactive teaching opportunity and is recommended by The History Channel.
To ensure the success of History Happens we will address these key assumptions: parents want "good television" and "good Internet" for their children; educators seek to teach in a multi-disciplinary way, to integrate the arts and humanities into the curriculum and to provide new-media instructional tools for the classroom; the new-media pipeline is starving for "family friendly" content; there is an increasing interest in American history at the end of the millennium. History Happens has enlisted the advice of children, parents, teachers, scholars, and historians as well as the endorsement and support of national organizations such as the National Council of the Social Studies and the Baker Children's Center in Boston. Emmy Award winning television producers, Academy Award winning filmmakers and Gold Record recipients make up our production team as we pursue the following mission:
The History Happens collection, through the use of innovative technology, will offer an effective way to teach American history to elementary and middle school age children through the use of music, rhythm and song lyrics, so that memorization of details and facts will be learned more easily, with greater recall and ultimately lead to a greater interest in the people, places and times of our rich cultural heritage.