The American Road | Three components, multiple impacts
- Education – A fully-vetted, theme-based, music-driven curriculum in modern US history and civics (covering 1890-now) for use in secondary schools that harnesses the power of music, its special role in the lives of young people, and its neuro-cognitive impact as a rich, dynamic instructional, experiential and creative cultural tool.
- Community – A civic engagement component that pro-actively connects students to more than 60,000 federally-compliant volunteer and mentored activities – tied to the curriculum – to put knowledge into action.
- Media – An agile, intuitive, resource-rich technology platform making activities engaging and accessible; a new digital pipeline to deliver easy-to-navigate and extensive resources widely to students, teachers, and partners; and an exciting media platform to amplify the program’s reach and impact through music and video – including a first-ever interactive, gamified “tv” series to reinforce and deepen learning while also appealing to our nation’s youth. Delivery is entirely digital.
The American Road Education Component digitally delivers multidisciplinary curricular materials and comprehensive educational resources to students and teachers. Organized both chronologically and thematically to give greater flexibility and encourage local customization in multiple secondary-level grades and required subjects. The program’s seven themes—explored over seven-time periods from 1890 on—underscore key events, issues and perspectives that mark America’s modern social history. Extensive, cross-referenced primary and secondary resources, including original and contemporary versions of the most impactful works, directly support student learning.
The curricular materials are designed to be substantive and supplemental. Teachers can use these as a sequential program that can, depending on schedule, provide more than two years of instructional activity. At the same time, they are designed to be plug-and-play, that is, usable on a modular basis as well. The materials are designed for use primarily in grades 7-10 with applications in grades 6-12.
The seven themes of The American Road curricular materials are:
This component will deliver more than 40 learning activities per theme/era and an additional 100 suggested extensions for each which teachers can develop and if they choose, share with other teachers on The American Road Tapestry, our educational platform and pipeline for the project. The focal subject areas are history and civics, with meaningful connections to language arts, media literacy and STEAM subjects. The format follows the widely used, well-researched approach known as Curriculum Mapping, incorporating detailed elements of all aspects of the learning experience (goals, activities, resources, in- and out-of-school related activities, applicable standards, and assessment mechanisms, among other elements). Primary and secondary resource links and access to partner’s educational resources will also be available through our heuristic digital pipeline.
The American Road integrates 400 historically important American songs in original versions with contemporary “covers” of 50-60 by top performers. The music is tied to 450 key moments in American history since 1890, driving the study of modern American history and civics. Juxtaposing original and contemporary re-creations of historically important songs will put today’s students in the shoes of their predecessors and also make plain the similarities and differences in the struggles, achievements and aspirations that mark the course of modern America. In this context, American song tells a unique story of each generation’s experience in its own voice. We also bring this generation’s voices to this continuing story with great music that will become part of the soundtrack of their lives.
This national youth development, community and civic engagement component will travel from the classroom, into family living rooms, and into communities across the country as it ties student inquiries through The American Road directly to more than 60,000 volunteer and mentored activities annually to build their experience as legacy-bearers of our democracy, to benefit their communities, and to encourage an ethos of service.
This component is critical to developing civically-engaged adults who are informed, active, and interested in their civic and community life. HHS-funded research has established the positive impact of youth civic engagement on life-long educational and income attainment as well as positive health behaviors.
The American Road will also reach families and communities through major and regional events, broadcasts, community partnerships and more.
An exciting media platform will amplify the program’s reach and impact through technology, music, and multiple media and venues that attract our nation’s youth.
- The Tapestry (Digital Hub & Pipeline) – Key to the delivery and assessment of the educational and civic engagement components of The American Road to millions of students and teachers nationwide, The Tapestry will use a robust digital dashboard – easy to navigate and rich with content and resources – for teachers and students alike. Through this secure digital pipeline, users will access all project music and curricular materials; our interactive digital timeline; primary resources and activities; streamed ancillary content and gamified learning extensions; relevant partner resources; all other digital features and materials, including student assessment and teacher-developed and shared lesson plans. Regardless of school location, budget, or structure, students of all backgrounds and capacities will deepen their knowledge; access civic engagement and volunteer activities; and build their technology skills and uses through The American Road’s Tapestry, affording a national digital educational and community infrastructure with content and resources that can be readily customized locally.
- Media and Events – This stand-alone component includes national and regional community events, broadcasts, and streamed activities to support the education and community components. These include performances and appearances by leading recording artists at major events and in streamed components; COVID-safe national and regional civic festivals with concerts annually; and an original streamed “tv” series with gamified, interactive audience participation. All of these will echo the themes of and provide additional content for The American Road’s central educational and community components. Together, these digital and live multimedia activities are intended to lead up to a national event and broadcast celebrating the 250th Anniversary of American Independence in 2026 and beyond.
The American Road program components are fully integrated through distinctive, coordinated elements.
Together with our groundbreaking curriculum, The American Road travels into family living rooms and into communities across the country through a variety of stand-alone, celebrity-involved media and entertainment events, broadcasts, online content and activities that reinforce its educational and civic engagement content, leading up to the 250th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in 2026. Learn more about these additional supportive Media and Community features by rolling over each of the headers below.
- Major National Events and Broadcasts
- Original Gamified “TV”Series
- The Tapestry Platform and Pipeline