Celebrate the Constitution

What is "Celebrate the Constitution"?
Each fall, the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Pennsylvania Bar Foundation sponsor the "Celebrate the Constitution" program for Pennsylvania schools. This award-winning program (formerly called "I Signed the Constitution") gives students an opportunity to learn about the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions through fun and informative learning activities. The program assists schools by providing lesson plans on the Constitution and ideas for mock Constitution signings and constitutional conventions. It makes civic learning inviting and entertaining for students of all ages. It also gives Pennsylvania lawyers and judges an opportunity to visit classrooms and help with the signings.

How does it meet federal funding requirements?
In 2004, Congress passed a measure requiring all educational institutions that receive federal money to offer students an instructional program on the U.S. Constitution each Sept. 17 (Constitution Day). The measure applies to all public and private institutions, including high schools, colleges and universities that receive federal money. The Pennsylvania Bar Association's (PBA) "Celebrate the Constitution" program satisfies that requirement.

Is the program held only on Sept. 17?
No. The PBA's "Celebrate the Constitution" program begins with a formal constitution signing event during the third week of September. But, the opportunity to participate in the program will not conclude then. Schools can hold signing programs and Constitution-related lessons across the state and participate in the school poster, essay and video/audio contests until Bill of Rights Week in December. This will give everyone an opportunity to have programs throughout the fall in addition to the federally required instruction on Sept. 17.

Since 2004, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, through the generous support of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, distributed more than 130,000 pocket-sized United States Constitutions to help promote learning about the constitution at all grades levels across Pennsylvania.

How can my school participate?

1. Hold Mock Constitutional Conventions or Constitution Signing events, teach lessons about the constitution and share other engaging learning activities with your students.
2. Request Pocket Constitutions and Bill O'Rights Constitution Character Stickers for your class (limited supplies available while they last) click here to see a sample sheet of stickers.
3. Enter our Poster, Essay and Audio Video contests. Rules and entry forms are provided on our 2012 Celebrate the Constitution page along with lesson ideas about this year's theme, "Dream Big as the Constitution Allows You!"

How do I access the lessons and other materials?
Lessons and resources are available on our 2012 Celebrate the Constitution page.

Can I submit and share lesson plans or ideas that I have used in my class?
Absolutely!
Please send your lessons or ideas to Susan Etter using the contact information below, or call Susan if you have questions or ideas you would like to discuss.

Who do I contact with questions?
If you have questions, comments, ideas or would like more information, please contact Susan Etter, PBA Education and Special Projects Coordinator, phone: 800-932-0311, Ext. 2256, or email: susan.etter@pabar.org.

Learn about other PBA Law-Related Education programs.





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