CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Schools across West Virginia will participate in a celebration this week to educate students about the sacrifices made for freedom in the founding of the United States and the values on which it was established. The week includes special classroom activities, a social media campaign and an event on September 15th at 11 a.m. at Freedom Hall in Wheeling, co-hosted by the Division of Culture and History with guest speaker West Virginia Secretary of State, Mac Warner.
Celebrate Freedom Week, which takes place during the week which September 11 falls every year, was created under House Bill 3080 during the 2017 Legislative Session. Students will receive three hours of instruction in their social studies classes surrounding the intent, meaning and importance of the Declaration of Independence, United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“The West Virginia Department of Education has put together resources for elementary, middle and high school teachers to help them incorporate lessons on the founding documents, our founding fathers and the unique circumstances under which the United States was formed” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Steven Paine. “We hope teachers will take this opportunity to teach patriotism and what it means to be free in our great country.”
This is the first year the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has provided resources for an organized ‘Celebrate Freedom Week’ in response to the recently passed legislation.
In addition to time spent on instruction in classrooms, students may participate in a number of other activities and events planned this week such as commemorating Constitution Day by inviting a WV Supreme Court Judge or Magistrate to visit their school, or participating in the WVDE’s social media campaign, #IAmWV.
The idea of "Celebrate Freedom Week" began in Texas in 2001. Since then, several other states including Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee have adopted the initiative.