This is my first year directing a Foundations and Essentials community for Classical Conversations, although it will be my 4th year doing CC and my third community in those 4 years. Neither of my previous communities had Constitution Day celebrations during the time we were there, but I was intrigued with the idea when I recently happened to catch an “Excellence in Education” event video posted by CC on their website. I started immediately thinking about the idea of hosting a Constitution Day celebration for our local community–not only as a way to celebrate this important American document but also as a way to introduce the local community to Classical Conversations.
I’ve been so busy trying to pull together all of the details for our celebration that I haven’t had much time to write about it, but I thought I’d post my ideas here just in case someone else wants to give it a try. I know it’s kind of late for this year (Constitution Day is September 17, less than 2 weeks away), but maybe you can plan to do something similar next year? If you’re already planning a Constitution Day celebration, maybe you can still incorporate some of these ideas. Look for a follow-up post with photos of the actual event sometime after September 17.
[The following explanations go along with the images that are included in the slideshow attached to this post. They’re just above the post title so take a look at the images first and then come back here for the details. If they don’t change automagically, hover over the first one and you should see some arrows pop up. Click to see the rest of the images.]
“Patriotbook” Art Contest
This Facebook-like 8.5″ x 11″sheet is for kids to make pretend Facebook pages for our founding fathers. I thought it’d be fun to open it up to the community, not just our CC kids, so I sent a press release to the local papers and posted it to our community Facebook page. Kids will download the page, use their creativity, artistry, and imagination to create an entertaining Facebook page for a founding father (the example shown above is George Washington), and the winner will receive a copy of Our Constitution Rocks!
Bill of Rights
I saw this cute retro illustration on a friend’s Pinterest page and figured it’d be perfect for our Bill of Rights presentation. I cropped out each one and pasted them into a letter-sized document, printed them all on cardstock, then put each student’s script on the back of the card. Each one will hold up their card and read the back during the program. Easy peasy!
The text that we’re using for this portion of our program came from this website.
As of today, you can download the retro graphic here (can’t guarantee that this link won’t break in the future, though).
“Our Constitution Rocks!”
In thinking about what I could do to make this really fun for the kids, I got the idea of making homemade tattoos that had something to do with the Constitution. I designed the tattoo in Photoshop and bought the tattoo paper from Amazon.
Program & Invitations
A friend and former colleague of mine designed an awesome digital scrapbooking kit with a patriotic theme. I used one of the papers to create an invitation which I posted to Facebook. I also created a letter-sized version that I printed at home on cardstock, cut, and distributed to my CC families so they could hand deliver invitations to their friends and family. I used the same image for the program cover.
You can download the a letter-sized set of (4) invitations here. Make sure your printer is set to borderless so you don’t have a small white margin around the edge of your paper.
You can download a matching program cover here. Once you print these on letter-sized paper (again, borderless), you can flip them over and print your program on the inside.
I bought some tiny flags that I plan to hand out to kids as they come in. Along with our kids, who will be leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, the kids will wave their flags during the song (or poke their siblings and/or great aunt with it during the program) and can take them home as a souvenir.
I also purchased 50 pocket copies of the Declaration of Independence/Constitution from the Heritage Foundation. These are a steal of a deal at $1 each, but you get a discount when you buy 50 or more. Even though I figured I wouldn’t need more than 25, I went ahead and ordered 50 because you get a 50% discount. (You do the math and see if it doesn’t make good sense, too!) Each attendee will receive one of these as our gift.
I mentioned that I sent a press release to our local paper announcing both the celebration and the art contest, but I also posted about it on our Facebook page and encouraged my families to hand out invitations to friends and family. I really don’t know how many people we’ll end up having, but I’m looking forward to it and am glad we went to the trouble to do something this first year. It’s been a great way to see each of my parents’ strengths and enthusiasm as we all work together to make this a great event for our community–our CC one and our neighbors!