Berkeley County elementary school teachers will be able to learn about the best ways to teach young children American history and earn graduate credits through a nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Middle and high school teachers say their students just don't have the background in history they ought to have, said Ed Moore, social studies coordinator for the Berkeley County School District. The district will use the grant money not only to prepare teachers to convey historical facts, but to help them learn ways to get their students excited about learning about history.

South Carolina educational standards require students at all grade-levels to know certain aspects of U.S. history, he said. For instance, a kindergartner is supposed to recognize Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The U.S. Department of Education received 472 applications for Teaching American History grants. Berkeley County was one of 123 selected for a three-year grant.