New History Textbook Series Gains Ground in Catholic Schools Nationwide

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Now in Catholic schools in more than 50 dioceses nationwide, Catholic Textbook Project's History/Social Studies textbook series for grade range 5-12 has become an increasingly popular choice by school principals and educators nationwide. Rigorous historical accuracy and a superior writing style that engages student interest are key reasons given for the accelerated growth, according to the company's founder and president Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed.

But the textbooks have attracted the attention of more than K-12 educators.

"Other middle and high-school history textbooks lack the qualities that Catholic Textbook Project's offer," says Jeffrey Burton Russell, Professor of History, Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara. "These books present all the main themes along with plenty of detail to flesh them out. They are beautifully and clearly presented. Without proselytizing, and without pressing any worldview other than the importance of understanding the past…

"Teachers and students who use the Catholic Textbook Project series," the professor continues, "will be happy to know that in college its readers will know more about history than many of their professors as well as most of their classmates."

Kevin Starr, who is a professor of history at the University of Southern California (USC), as well as a California State Librarian Emeritus, a 2005 USC Medallion winner, a National Humanities Medalist in 2006, and a Centennial Medalist at GSAS Harvard University in 2006, concurs.

"This carefully researched, beautifully written, and elegantly designed four-volume textbook series at long last gives full weight to the contribution of Roman Catholics across five centuries of North American exploration and settlement," notes Dr. Starr, underscoring not only the textbooks' historical accuracy, but also the inclusion of Catholic lay men and women, saints and sinners throughout more than 2,000 years.

"The saga of France and Spain in this regard is already well known," says Dr. Starr. "These wonderful volumes, however, now bring to light the English-speaking Roman Catholic presence in North America and the contributions of Catholics of many backgrounds to the creation and development of the United States."

The currently published five-volume series includes From Sea to Shining Sea: The Story of America, All Ye Lands: World Cultures and Geography, Light to the Nations I: The History of Christian Civilization, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World, and Lands of Hope and Promise: A History of North America. Highly praised teacher manuals and student workbooks are available for each volume. Development of four additional volumes, suitable for grades 1-4, is set to begin as soon as funding is complete.

For more information about the Catholic Textbook Project history textbooks for Catholic schools, go to or call 1.888.610.3354.

About Catholic Textbook Project. Founded by a frustrated headmaster who was unable to find good history/social studies textbooks for his students, and unable to convince existing Catholic publishers to produce such textbooks, Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., culled a select group of scholars, professors, educators, editors and book designers and launched Catholic Textbook Project (a 501c3 nonprofit). These history/social studies textbooks are the first to be published for Catholic schools in more than 50 years. For more information or to explore the textbooks, go to

CONTACT: Karen Walker, media relations 888.610.3354, ext 4 / PHOTOS / INTERVIEWS AVAILABLESource:Catholic Textbook Project