Bill of Rights Defense Campaign

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Constitution Day—September 17

About Constitution Day
Constitution Day Action Ideas

Working with Public Schools
Allies & Resources
Media Resources
Materials

Working with Public Schools

Beginning in 2005, schools that receive federal funds are required to hold an annual educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17, the date that the Constitution was signed.

Many educators welcome input from the residents of their community. Even if you do not know students attending local schools, this is a good opportunity to suggest ideas for their observances of Constitution Day:

  • Contact the principal of an elementary, middle, or high school in your area and offer to help plan an activity. See Justice Learning and
    Education World for activity ideas.
  • Contact the administrative office at your local community college and offer resources for Constitution Day events.
  • Work with student groups on campus to plan events.
  • Offer to read the Bill of Rights or the Constitution to a class in your neighborhood school, or provide speakers for a school program.
  • Use one of BORDC's lesson plans to do a Constitution Day presentation in a local school.
  • Order copies of Rights Matter: The Story of the Bill of Rights (70 page book, $2 each), for use in the classroom:
  • ACLU of Massachusetts
    211 Congress Street
    Boston, MA 02110
    (617) 482-3170 ext. 314

  • Contact school debate clubs and organize a public debate on the Constitution. Students can research some of the debate topics about adding the Bill of Rights to the Constitution to make their arguments. See “Bill of Rights History” under the “Resources” section.
  • Start an essay contest for school children, and have readings of selected essays at a public event.
  • Put on a local reading of the Constitution. The National Constitution Center invites schools, workplaces, and organizations to participate in America Reads the Constitution. Their downloadable kit contains instructions, press materials, parts for 109 readers, and 50 optional additional readings from speeches of famous people. Also see the NCC's extensive list of materials, guides and toolkits relating to Constitution Day.
  • Distribute copies of the Constitution to schools in your community. Download a copy.

See BORDC's K-12 resource page for more information.