Secretary of State
Grayson Celebrates Constitution Day with Students Across Kentucky
(Louisville, KY) Secretary of State Trey Grayson joined thousands of students and teachers across Kentucky today to kick-off Constitution Day, a day set aside by Congress to remember the importance of the U.S. Constitution. School children across the country will focus a portion of their classes this week on the Constitution and the role that it plays in the lives of American citizens.
“Schools across the Commonwealth have planned an exciting day of activities that celebrates one of the most important documents in American history,” said Secretary Grayson. “I hope today’s activities will encourage more young people to become involved in their government and to strengthen their knowledge of how our government is structured.”
Grayson visited Constitution Day celebrations and activities at St. Matthews Elementary School in Louisville, the Citizen Kentucky Public Forum at the University of Kentucky, and Garden Springs Elementary School in Lexington.
The “U.S. Constitution Day,” created by Congress in 2004, focuses attention on the U.S Constitution, the oldest and shortest written constitution in the world. Congress passed legislation establishing the day in order to make students more aware of their government and how the Constitution still applies to their lives. Federal legislation authored by the late Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia requires that on Constitution Day, schools receiving federal funds present a program on the Constitution.
“We are delighted that Congress recognizes the importance of civics in American education,” stated Grayson. “We encourage citizens, young and old, to take time to reflect on the Constitution and to learn more about its impact upon us.”
The Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy, a group chaired by Secretary Grayson, is encouraging all Kentucky citizens to take a moment this week to reflect on the Constitution and the liberties that it provides for each American. The Workgroup directs the nationally acclaimed Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky (CLIK) which is a multi-year effort to enhance long-term civic engagement and literacy within the Commonwealth. The Office of the Secretary of State and the Workgroup serve as coordinators for Kentucky Constitution Day activities.
On a previous Constitution Day, Grayson released a report entitled: Rediscovering Democracy: An Agenda for Action, that calls upon the state to take tangible steps to increase civic literacy. The report, which details four principle recommendations and scores of additional recommendations, has stirred policy discussion in Kentucky as well as other states around the nation. Progress has been made on many of the recommendations of the report since its release, despite financial hardships for the state.
The report called for different educational groups to partner in order to strengthen civics education in Kentucky. One such partnership exists between the Office of the Secretary of State and the National Student/Parent Mock Election. The two will partner to host the Kentucky Student Mock Election later in the fall with tens of thousands of students across Kentucky participating. To have your school participate, contact the Office of the Secretary of State. The mock election coincides with a federal grant the Office of the Secretary of State has received to host mock elections at schools across the state using actual voting equipment in use in that county.
For more information about the effort to increase civic literacy and engagement in Kentucky, visit www.civics.ky.gov.
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