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Canyon Ridge Students Celebrate U.S. Constitution Day
Canyon Ridge celebrates US Constitution DayIn honor of the United States Constitution Day, the middle level learners at Canyon Ridge School, offered a special program for students, staff, parents and members of the community at large.

Seventh grade Social Studies classes performed in costume as Founding Fathers and Mothers and offered many details regarding their colonial life and the importance of America’s seminal documents.  In the weeks leading to the event, learners chose their favorite colonial figure to portray from a list of prominent American Founders. From George Washington, to Betsy Ross and Crispus Attucks, over fifteen founding fathers and mothers were represented in this project.

Students gathered biographical information from primary documents, secondary internet sources, and a variety of books.  Their goal was to discuss the pertinent contributions of their Founder during the American Revolution and the formulation of the United States Constitution. To further personalize their learning experience, children constructed props and made costumes that reflected an understanding of eighteenth century culture. Youngsters from other grade levels contributed by attending the event and asking the Founders meaningful questions. Primary level students generated notes and discussed ideas regarding our nation’s most important documents.Topics included the intellectual progression from the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the wisdom of the United States. Constitution.

This year, our expanded program, which also included technology based chromebook stations about STEM techniques in early American life, was supported by the eighth grade team at Canyon Ridge. These students formed a small group of Founders who guided classes amongst multiple learning stations in the media center and helped  young Founders during presentations. The fifth grade team also played a prominent role with every learner producing a colorful poster about the deeds and accomplishments of a Founder or Revolutionary War hero. Their work will soon be entered in the upcoming Arizona SAR Americanism Elementary School Poster Contest. 

Parents, teachers, community members and local patriotic organizations played a vital   role in our learning experience. Community sponsors, in cooperation with the Canyon Ridge PTA, provided the financial resources to obtain a national traveling exhibit produced by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. “Freedom: A History of US” consisted of twelve colorful panels that outlined the quest for liberty; from the colonial era and into the modern world. The exhibit covered over thirty-five feet of space and illustrated critical historical figures and events. Among the highlights were: a rare 1776 printing of the Declaration of Independence, a printed draft and the official copy of the US Constitution, Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten notes for speeches, and letters by leading figures such as Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King Jr. Descriptions of the meaning of freedom to the common man were also represented in the personal letters of Civil War soldiers and the recollections of American philosophers and Civil Rights activists. The exhibit served the important role of building a bridge of understanding that links between the work of the Founders and the ongoing quest to promote their written ideals in the modern world.

Our partners in the Arizona Sons of the American Revolution, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10695, the Arizona Daughters of  the American Revolution, the American Association of University Women and the Veterans Heritage Project, served as the presenters of various panels in the exhibit. Mr. and Mrs, Dennis Grau, of VFW Post 10695 in Sun City West,  presented the awards for best costume and performance, by a Founding Father and Mother. The multitude of questions, and the discourse between children and adults, offered a unique opportunity to share cross-generational experiences and perspectives. It also made selecting the winners a definite challenge.

Community members, district leadership and a number of elected officials, were in attendance. Among these special guests were: Arizona House of Representatives Member Frank P. Carroll, of District 22, and the Honorable Mayor of the City of Surprise Skip Hall and Vice Mayor Roland Winters. Their interactions with our performers yielded many thought provoking questions and stories about the Constitution and the history of the State of Arizona.

These endeavors were enhanced by a display of books and letters, with actual signatures of the Founders, offered by Charles Parkhurst Rare Books, Incorporated. Prior to departing the event, all students had the chance to participate in the mission of Blue Star Moms of the Southwest Valley. Students signed a large homemade American flag and wrote sentiments in holiday cards for our troops overseas. American forces will receive these items in care packages in December. Tables and displays from the Veterans Heritage Project, of which Canyon Ridge School is an affiliated chapter, provided information about how students can honor Veterans via interviews, and published accounts of their service, in the annual VHP book, Since You Asked.

In all, the seventh grade team greeted and conversed with over seven hundred learners while in character as the Founders. A similar number of young students participated in our STEM learning stations and covered with the presenters at the Freedom exhibit. Additionally, Canyon Ridge middle level learners participated in a special patriotic project and performed as their Founder for more than one hundred and forty guests at the Arizona DAR-SAR Constitution Day Luncheon, on Saturday, September 21, 2019. After dessert with the membership, students received certificates of achievement from the Arizona Daughters of the American Revolution and posed for photos with family and friends. During this patriotic celebration, Mr. Christopher Raso, seventh grade social studies teacher at Canyon Ridge School, was formally presented the NSSAR National American History Teacher Award for 2019.

By promoting a spirit of patriotism and creativity, the students of Canyon Ridge School, in conjunction with our valued community partners, brought United States Constitution Day to life while evaluating the importance of those who have served and sacrificed throughout our history in pursuit of the American ideal.

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Posted : 9/24 | Direct Link
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