The Polk Foundation Launches The Tennessee Star Constitution Project Featuring September 23 Constitution Bee for Students



FRANKLIN,Tennessee – The Polk Foundation today announced the launch of their initiative to teach secondary school students the cornerstones of American liberty: the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and all the amendments.

Dubbed The Tennessee Star Constitution Project, the effort includes:

  1. The publication and free distribution of an original book, The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students to teachers and secondary school students anywhere in the state who sign up to participate in the 2017-2018 academic year Pilot Project for use as supplementary material for eighth grade Social Studies, high school U.S. Government and Civics, American History, and political elective classes.
  2. The development and distribution of support materials based on the popular Constitution Series by The Tennessee Star for teachers, students, and adult volunteers.
  3. Training on its implementation in the classroom by teachers and in review sessions by adult volunteers.
  4. The first-of-its-kind Constitution Bee for Tennessee secondary school students, to be held in Pleasant View on September 23.

Details about the unique project – including two full chapters of the book – are available for review at the Polk Foundation website:

“For years, educators have struggled to fulfill curriculum requirements to teach our founding documents,” said Mike Sheppard, president of the Polk Foundation. “Often, teachers resort to a patchwork of texts – a solution that is not only costly, but it is also inconsistent, resulting in an unbalanced presentation of the material.”

Secondary school students from across the state are invited to sign up for the September 23 Constitution Bee, which will be held at Sycamore High School, located at 1021 Old Clarksville Pike in Pleasant View, Tennessee from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. here at the Polk Foundation website:

“We selected September 23 as the date for the first ever Constitution Bee in Tennessee because it’s Constitution Week—September 17 marks the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia,” Sheppard said.

More details about the event, which will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the format for the competition, and the prize for the winners, will be announced in the coming weeks.

As part of the Pilot Project, any teacher in the state who asks, will receive 25 to 50 copies of The Tennessee Star Guide to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students for free.

The idea is to use the book as supplementary material to help comply with state standards in the classroom that relate to the Constitution. In addition, incorporating the book in the curriculum will prepare students in the Pilot Project class to compete in the September 23 Constitution Bee.

So far, three schools – a middle school and two high schools – are participating in the Pilot Project, but Sheppard says the Polk Foundation can accommodate any teacher at any school – public or private – who signs up any time before September 15.

Students attending schools that are not participating in the Pilot Project can also be part of the September 23 Constitution Bee. “Any student who signs up for the Constitution Bee will receive a copy of the book and be guaranteed a spot in the competition,” Sheppard adds.

“Adults who are interested in The Tennessee Star Constitution Project can also participate by conducting review sessions in advance of the September 23 Constitution Bee for students in their community who want to participate,” Sheppard said.

Earlier this year, The Tennessee Star burst onto the Volunteer State’s media scene with its fresh, independent take on reporting the news of the day. Readership skyrocketed virtually overnight to a substantial 350,000 visits per month in less than three quarters of operation.

In April, the news start-up launched a series of original articles discussing the United States’ founding from a fact-based, originalist perspective called, The Constitution Series.

“When we saw The Tennessee Star kick off its Constitution Series, we were intrigued,” Sheppard recalled. “However after the first installment, we knew this was the answer Tennessee educators were looking for to fulfill the existing and new standards which require a more complete comprehension of the establishment of our government.”


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About the Polk Foundation: Named after President James Polk – is a 501 (c)(3) organization focused on uniting people to a common goal of promoting the values and issues that will enable our children to have access to better performing schools and teachers, and creating education environments where they can achieve their full potential. Visit their website at

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