Constitution Week

Constitution Week

Week beginning September 17
Since 2004, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pa., has hosted Constitution Week, beginning on September 17th, Constitution Day. The event celebrates September 17, 1787, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed. On August 2, 1956, the Congress set aside Constitution Week and asked that the president establish it each year by proclamation. Some presidents, including Ronald Reagan, were faithful in doing so, but the event has lapsed over the years.
Constitution Week begins with a public reading of the Constitution by a rotating group of 100 readers, including politicians, firefighters, nurses, and many others. During Constitution Week, the center provides classrooms across the country with suggested reading lists, class projects, constitution-related games and activities, and other materials to raise the awareness of the nation's children about the U.S. Constitution. Beginning in 2006, the week also includes the two-day Peter Jennings Institute for Journalists and the Constitution, which brings journalists together to discuss a range of constitutional issues. In addition, a two-day Constitutional Convention composed of adult and youth delegations from all 50 states discuss and debate constitutional issues. The convention releases a "Report Card on the Constitution" in which the health of constitutional practices is evaluated. The convention is videotaped and made available to schools.
The National Constitution Center was established by the U.S. Government in 1988 to promote a greater understanding of the nation's constitution and its relevance in the daily lives of citizens today. The center has over 100 interactive exhibits and displays of film, documents, text, artifacts, and sculpture. It also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which coordinates national educational efforts about the constitution.
CONTACTS:
National Constitution Center
535 Arch St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106
215-409-6600
www.constitutioncenter.org

Constitution Week (Mesa, Arizona)
Week of September 17
Mesa, Ariz., has consistently celebrated the Congressionally established Constitution Week for over 30 years.
Held at the Mesa Amphitheater, the celebration includes a school band concert, the chance for children to meet the Founding Fathers and ask them questions, a Constitution Quiz (the two winning students receive airline tickets to Washington. D.C.), a Boy Scouts parade of flags, the high school color guard ROTC, and live music. Educational activities include information about the lives and activities of America's Founding Fathers, an in-depth examination of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and a class on how to qualify for the Boy Scouts' "Citizenship in the Nation" Merit Badge.
Mesa students at all grade levels learn about the U.S. Constitution during the week. Local politicians visit classrooms to give talks about the legislative process. Mesa students also participate in the National Anthem Project, meant to encourage citizens to sing the country's national anthem.
CONTACTS:
Mesa Public Schools
63 East Main St., #101
Mesa, AZ 85201-7422
480-472-0000
www.mpsaz.org/main2

Celebrated in: Arizona

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Immediate past president Alan Orantes Forst came up with the idea in 2005 after learning that Congress had enacted a law requiring all schools receiving federal funds to conduct a program celebrating the Constitution, and with the support of fellow officers Richard Levenstein, Portia Scott, Preethi Sekharan, Scott Konopka, Shaun Plymale, and this year's president Linda Weiksnar, as well as 19th Circuit Chief Judge William Roby, the association's Constitution Week program has become a much anticipated event for both the bar's members and local students for the past four years.

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