On Friday Tennessee Star CEO and Editor-in-chief Michael Patrick Leahy asked constitutional conservatives from around the state to attend the 2018 kick off of the Polk Foundation’s Constitution Mentors program that will be held this Saturday, January 6, from 1 pm to 4 pm.
Anyone interested in attending can sign up here. The event will be held at the offices of Professional Educators of Tennessee at 5100 Linbar Drive, Suite 101, in Nashville.
“We held our first Constitution Mentor training session back in November. Now, it’s time to add more Constitution Mentors in preparation for the next Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, sponsored by The Polk Foundation, which will be held in Williamson County at the Main Auditorium of the Williamson County Administration building in Franklin from 9 am to noon on Saturday, April 28,” Leahy said.
Secondary school students interested in participating in the April 28 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee can sign up here.
“While our primary target is students in grades 8 to 12, we have in the past accepted younger students who have demonstrated zeal for the subject, and they have done quite well,” Leahy said.
Leahy added that anyone who shares an originalist view of the Constitution is welcome to attend the Constitution Mentors meeting, regardless of party affiliation.
At a speech to the 7th & 8th Congressional District Coalition in October, Leahy described how The Polk Foundation’s Tennessee Star Constitution Project began:
“When we launched The Tennessee Star, one of our goals was to write a weekly article about an aspect of the Constitution that secondary school students could read and use as a supplement to what they’re being taught in school,” he said.
The Polk Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Nashville offered to help turn those articles into a book, and in July, the pilot project edition of The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students, was published, based on those articles, which were written by Leahy, John Harris, and Claudia Henneberry.
Leahy explained how several local high schools in Cheatham County and Stewart County agreed to participate in the pilot project, and about 200 copies of the book have been distributed to those schools, as well as local home schoolers.
“We held the first Tennessee Star Constitution Bee at Sycamore High School in Cheatham County back in September, and, thanks to the Polk Foundation, the winner of that event, 17-year-old home schooler Noah Farley, was awarded a free trip, along with his father, to Washington, D.C., where he attended a lecture at Hillsdale College’s Kirby Center for the Constitution delivered by U.S. District of of Columbia Circuit Thomas Griffith,” Leahy noted.
The winner of the April 28 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee and a parent will also win a trip to Washington, D.C., courtesy of the Polk Foundation. Rebecca Burke is the chair of this spring’s event.
“Your help is desperately needed to pass the torch of constitutional liberty on to the next generation,” Leahy told his fellow constitutional conservatives.
Secondary school students around the country–and in Tennessee as well–are simply not learning the basics of the Constitution, as well as our system of government and civic responsbilities, Leahy said.
“Those of us over 40–and especially those of us over 50–have a duty to pass this learning on to the next generation,” he added.
For a variety of reasons, our education system is not sufficiently communicating these important lessons, and The Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, along with the associated book- The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students–is one way of addressing this problem.
Attendees at Saturday’s Constitution Mentor training session will receive free copies of The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students, and will learn how to help prepare students for the April 28 Tennessee Star Constitution Bee.
Specifically, they will learn:
- How to approach the administration of their local public school system or private schools and identify Social Studies, History, and Government teachers who may have an interest in incorporating the Star’s Guide to the Constitution into their curriculum.
- How to help teachers integrate the Polk Foundation’s Constitution curriculum into their classes by participating in online training sessions.
- How to work with the home school community.
- How to organize their own weekend Constitution Bee preparation sessions for interested students and their parents.
- How to approach local groups and encourage them to promote and participate in The Tennessee Star Constitution Bee, such as Trail Life, American Heritage for Girls, The Rotary Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, and others.