These are just a few subjects that will be discussed as West Virginia students join their peers across the country in September in observation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, a time set aside to recognize the signing of the document that is the foundation of our democracy. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the nation's charter on Sept. 17, 1787.
Passed into federal law in 2004, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., authored the legislation requiring all schools receiving federal funds, as well as all federal agencies, to provide materials about the Constitution every year on Sept. 17, commemorating the signing of the Constitution.
If Sept. 17 falls on a weekend, as it does this year, schools may schedule a program during the week preceding or following that date.
“Most students know that July 4th is our nation's birthday but few Americans know that September 17th is the birthday of our government,” said Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education. “Senator Byrd knows the importance of this document and why we need to celebrate its signing.”
Teachers can help their students remember the day with period re-enactors, guest speakers or have everyone sign a display of the Constitution, among other activities.
Educators can plan their lessons around Constitution Day by checking out the following links: http://cs4online.org; http://usgovinfo.about.com/blconstday.htm; http://www.wvbar.org; http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs; http://www.usconstitution.net/glossary.html; http://www.usconstitution.net/choose.html http://www.usconstitution.net/constpix.html; http://www.archives.gov; http://www.civiced.org/index.php; http://memory.loc.gov/learn; http://www.constitutioncenter.org; and http://www.BillofRightsInstitute.org.
For more information about Constitution Day, contact Regina Scotchie at (304) 558-5325.