PLEASANT VIEW, Tennessee — Abagail and Madalyn Falletti were determined to compete Saturday in the Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, and they weren’t going to let their ages stand in the way.
Sponsored by the Polk Foundation, the inaugural bee was formally open to students in grades 8-12, with students in grade 7 to be allowed in with special permission.
But 10-year-old Abagail and 11-year-old Madalyn are only in fifth and sixth grade, respectively.
They wore down organizers with their enthusiasm.
“They wouldn’t let me not allow them in,” said Michael Patrick Leahy, CEO and editor-and-chief of The Tennessee Star.
Their mother, Jennie Falletti, said the girls became interested in politics last year when they cheered on Ted Cruz in his race for the Republican nomination for president.
Jennie homeschools her daughters in Thompson’s Station and helped them get ready for Saturday’s bee. The girls read The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and made flashcards.
“I like challenges,” Abagail said.
Madalyn said she wanted to participate so she could learn more about the U.S. Constitution.
For the Preamble part of the contest, the girls stood side by side on the stage at Sycamore High School and recited it together. They were awarded for having the “Most Entertaining” recitation.
“We had so much fun,” their mother said. “It’s been a blast.”