In preparation for the 229th anniversary of the adoption of the United States Constitution, the local Daughters of the American Revolution are distributing copies of the country’s founding document in Coweta elementary schools.
The DAR General Daniel Newnan Chapter has distributed pocket Constitutions in Coweta schools for many years. Throughout this week and next, DAR member Julie Yokum – who chairs the chapter’s Constitution Week committee – is visiting all 19 of Coweta County’s elementary schools and other schools around Coweta.
All Coweta County School System’s 4th grade teachers are receiving a copy of the document in preparation for Constitution week, held September 17 through 23. It is the 3rd year that the local DAR chapter has handed out copies of the Constitution to Coweta 4th graders.
In all, the group is handing out over 1,800 copies in Coweta County School System’s 19 elementaries. About 200 more will go to 4th graders in other schools and academies throughout the county.
“We’re just trying to sow seeds of knowledge about our founding document to a new generation,” said Yokum. She and six of her fellow members are visiting schools to hand them out and talk to students about the U.S. Constitution.
“We tell students that this is a document that affects their daily life and that they will use this through adulthood,” said Yokum. She and her fellow members tell students that there are 4,543 words in the Constitution, excluding the founder’s signatures, “and we challenge them to memorize the first 52 words – the Preamble.”
Students who do will get a ‘Patriotic Pal’ document with their name on it, suitable for framing, she said.
Yokum has chaired the Constitution Week committee for three years, leading the DAR’s efforts to distribute copies to all Coweta 4th graders each year. “It’s my passion to help future citizens learn more about the Constitution, and to learn more about the American history in a fun way.”
Constitution Week is the commemoration of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution at the close of the Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787. The annual celebration was started by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1955, DAR petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The aims of the Constitution Week celebration are to emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, inform people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s heritage way of life, and encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in 1787.