Celebrate the Constitution

"Celebrate the Constitution"
Fall 2005 Program

The Pennsylvania Bar Association, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, celebrated its seventh annual “Celebrate the Constitution” program during fall 2005. “Celebrate the Constitution” (formerly called “I Signed the Constitution”) is a unique program that allows students to gain a greater understanding of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions through fun and informative learning activities. The program assists schools by providing lesson plans on the Constitution and classroom ideas for mock Constitution signings and constitutional conventions. It makes civic learning inviting and entertaining for students of all ages. The celebration is coordinated by the PBA Law-Related Education Committee.

More than 300 schools participated in this year’s program. Many local bar associations, judges and lawyers from across the commonwealth worked with schools to participate in activities. The theme for this year’s celebration was “My World — My Responsibility.”

The PBA held a unique program to kick-off the fall festivities. On Sept. 1, 2005, First Lady Judge Marjorie Rendell, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ralph J. Cappy and PBA President William Carlucci joined together for a taping of “A Conversation About the Constitution” to help Pennsylvania students celebrate Constitution Day. Students from Hollidaysburg Area High School in Blair County and Overbrook High School in Philadelphia took part in the one-hour television program that was broadcast on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. The students were given the opportunity to ask questions of the featured guests about the U.S. and Pennsylvania constitutions.

Schools across Pennsylvania were encouraged to tune-in to the broadcast and use the program as part of their Constitution celebrations. The program was geared for students in grades 7-12. The program aired on three dates in September.

For the first time in 2005, Congress began requiring all educational institutions that receive federal money to offer students an instructional program on the U.S. Constitution each Sept. 17 (Constitution Day) or on the adjacent Friday or Monday if it falls on a weekend. The measure applies to all public and private institutions that receive federal money and is now an annual requirement. The Celebrate the Constitution program helps schools to satisfy that requirement.

The 2005 Celebrate the Constitution Program Planning Guide, which includes new lesson plans, is still available. Click here to download the guide.