With September being National Constitution Month, Tyson Hansen and Superintendent Cade Douglas, both representing the Richfield Rotary Club, visited local schools Thursday, September 28 to pass out copies of the United States Constitution and a pamphlet entitled Why I Love America.
“The school district has partnered with the Rotary Club for the past several years to get copies of the Constitution into the hands of each student in grades 5, 8, and 11,” said Douglas. “These grades are a natural fit as they’re already studying United States history, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence as part of their curriculum.”
“We as a district are deliberate in teaching appropriate reverence of the flag, patriotism, and our freedoms,” he said. “Our goal is to flood our families and the homes of our students with the Constitution. I don’t think some in the community realize we do focus on the Constitution in our district. It’s a major priority for us. Each of our schools have an In God we Trust sign, our students say the pledge every day, we have Constitution Bees, and our patriotic programs are second to none. We invite community members to attend these programs and honor our local veterans, and they leave feeling our patriotic spirit.”
The Rotary Club has passed out copies of the Constitution in past years, but this is the first year the Why I Love America pamphlet has been added.
“This is an awesome booklet,” said Douglas. “It explains the history of America, how our freedoms are not free, that great sacrifices have been made for us, and information on our founding fathers. It’s basically a guidebook to the Constitution. It’s fun this year to be able to provide our students with copies of both, and the teachers will use them for a couple of weeks in their studies here in the classroom, then the students will be instructed to take them home and share the information they’ve learned with their families.”
He said he wants every student to know, and share with their families at home, that the United States Constitution is a miraculous document, and is a gift to Americans and the world. He acknowledged the purchase of these pamphlets is a significant investment for the Rotary Club, as there are 1,100 students within the district who will receive them, and he thanked them publicly for their donation.
“Public education is a great equalizer,” said Douglas. “We believe all men are created equal, and our students need to know that they can become anything. That’s what makes America great, and our Constitution describes this unique form of government that sets forth how we as a people govern ourselves. I hope every student takes the opportunity to study and ponder ways to support and defend our Constitution.”
He said he’s received several letters from concerned citizens wondering whether the Constitution is adequately and appropriately taught in the district, and he wants them to know that it is a priority. He also acknowledged national media stories portraying differing values, but stated the administrators, staff, and teachers in Sevier District share the belief in the importance of the Constitution, In God we Trust, and that the founding fathers were divinely inspired.
“In addition to the obvious reading, math, and science subjects, our priority is also to teach the Constitution,” he said. “We’re going to stay grounded.”
Rotary member Tyson Hansen shared a personal experience of when the importance of the United States Constitution was driven home to made him especially grateful to live in the United States. There was a time he’d driven out of the country on vacation with his family and he accidentally ran a stop sign in a crazy round about. He was pulled over and given the option to either appear in court or pay the policeman cash on the spot, which he did.
“Sometimes as citizens we take for granted the checks and balances in place and that the rule of law applies equally in our country, both for citizens and tourists,” he said. “It is important that our students understand the Constitution so if our freedoms and rights are challenged or ignored, we can point them out and nip them in the bud.”
Salina Elementary Principal Krahenbuhl expressed appreciation to the Rotary Club for their donation and said he’s grateful to the service group for their donation to the school and the timing couldn’t have been better, as there was a Constitution Reading that was livestreamed statewide, and fifth-grade students tuned in to the enjoyable and educational event.
“We’re grateful for the time and investment these groups pour into our school,” he said. “Their service enhances what we’re trying to do, which is teach and reinforce these important principles. It’s great timing too! The fifth graders enjoyed tuning into the Constitution reading just yesterday, and next week there’s a piece in their literature book about the founding fathers. Our teachers will use the pamphlets and information provided by the Rotary members to enhance their lessons.”