The American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization dedicated to the understanding and teaching of America’s factual and philosophical heritage to promote constructive citizenship and Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility (FUPR) among students and citizens.
AHEF accomplishes this patriotic mission locally and nationally through partnerships, resources, workshops, and other educational programs for educators, scholars, students, and citizens.
AHEF is inclusive of individuals of every race and creed and of every religious and non-religious persuasion who respect every American’s natural rights as recognized in the U. S. Declaration of Independence and affirmed by law in the U. S. Constitution.
Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility (FUPR™) are central themes in America’s heritage that generations of Americans from diverse backgrounds have embraced for over two centuries. While diversity has always contributed to the strength of our republic, the recent focus on what sets us apart rather than on what binds us together clearly tends to divide and weaken our nation. The effort in our schools to celebrate diversity for diversity’s sake without a corresponding understanding that diverse peoples are only one part of our national character will result in a “house divided” with potentially catastrophic social, cultural, and economic division.
AHEF believes that the concepts and themes of our American heritage must be objectively studied and continually improved for today’s students and citizens to understand, appreciate, and perpetuate the ongoing miracle of our unique republic of the people, by the people, and for the people. Through a renewed study and understanding of historical events, founding documents, national symbols, and significant individuals, Americans and others worldwide can better understand the foundational, philosophical ideas undergirding the United States of America.
With such education, our students and citizens can therefore become increasingly aware of and proficient in the inspired, noble, and virtuous ideals of our constitutional republic that is founded on certain unalienable rights and the equality and freedom of all persons. As a result, students will become more patriotic, informed, responsible, active, enthusiastic, and united citizens able to perpetuate the ideas of Freedom, Unity, Progress, and Responsibility that we value as American citizens.
The American Heritage Education Foundation (AHEF) was founded in 1995. In 1993, current members of the organization worked with the Houston Independent School District (HISD) to establish American Heritage Month. Today, schools throughout Houston ISD and the nation celebrate our nation’s heritage each November through creative activities and projects.
In 1995, the Texas Legislature directed the State Board of Education to implement the following law:
The State Board of Education and each school district shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas History and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter and in the reading courses and in the adoption of textbooks. A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.
–Texas Education Code (TEC) §28.002(h)
In support of the Texas Education Code, Houston ISD, The Robert & Janice McNair Foundation, and AHEF partnered to develop its K-12 educational program and resource, America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty. The resource has been through a series of revisions and is updated regularly. The most recent edition was completed in 2012. This program continues to be introduced and activated in schools in Houston, Texas, and the nation. It is now distributed to and currently used in schools, homeschools, and educational programs nationwide.
The American Heritage Education Foundation, Inc. (AHEF) collaborates locally and nationally with educational communities and school districts, non-profit and professional organizations, businesses, churches, and workshops to facilitate its goal of promoting American Heritage education and understanding among students and citizens. AHEF collaborates in large part with the Houston Independent School District (HISD), the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, and The National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR).
From 1993-2014, the City of Houston and Houston ISD recognized AHEF’s partnership with HISD to initiate HISD’s American Heritage Month every November.
In 1993, AHEF Co-Founders Dr. Richard Gonzalez and Mrs. Eugenie Gonzalez received a Good Citizenship Medal from the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in recognition of their notable services on behalf of our American principles.
In 2002, Houston ISD and AHEF received a Graphic Excellence Award from the Printing Industries of the Gulf Coast and the Printing & Imaging Association of Mid-America for America’s Heritage: An Adventure in Liberty.
In 2004, AHEF Co-Founder Eugenie Gonzalez received the inaugural Houston ISD American Heritage Month Exemplary Citizenship Award for her initiative on the American Heritage Month project and for her contributions in the community.
In 2008, AHEF Co-Founder Jack Kamrath received the Distinguished Patriot Award from the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in recognition of his leadership in preserving America’s heritage and the teaching of good citizenship principles.
In 2011, AHEF Co-Founder Eugenie Gonzalez received the Mary Smith Lockwood Medal for Education from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for outstanding achievement through educational pursuits.
In 2017, AHEF’s resource website, americanheritage.org, was nominated by the homeschool community and listed in Homeschool Base’s Top 10 Best Education Websites of 2017. Homeschool Base says, “Our Top 10 Educational Websites are all recommended by multiple teachers, home educators, and homeschool parents through various feedback channels. All sites have received our Purple Stamp of Approval that honors exemplary websites/apps that offer quality, innovative, unique, cost-effective, or significant value to teachers, educators, and homeschooling families. None of these websites paid to be on this list.” It further says of AHEF, “The [americanheritage.org] website is recommended by home educators, in part because they provide original, free K-college level patriotic Social Studies, History, and Western Civilization supplemental lesson plans and textbooks.”