Constitution Day is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia.
The law establishing the present holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd. Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day”. In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide education on the history of the American Constitution on that day.
Despite the fact that this law pertains specifically to public schools, Mrs. Leslie Sem’s first graders at Mater Christi School also celebrated it. The students learned about the US Constitution and then created their own list of rules to live by for the year. After making a huge classroom poster of these rules, on which each student signed their name, the students then each made individual small booklets of these same rules. The children added illustrations and then attached their booklets to their desks in a year-long place of honor.
Ms. Sem commented that introducing the idea of rules in conjunction with the US Constitution helped make both of these concepts more concrete, and thus easier, for the children to understand.
Sister Joanne LaFreniere, RSM
Director of Public Relations and Spiritual Life