Fore-word of our Forefathers

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Did you know there was a Constitution Day?

Farmersville Unified School Board member Al Vanderslice did, and he made sure every fifth and eighth grade student in Farmersville did, too.

In observance of Constitution Day, held on Sept. 17, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed in 1787, Vanderslice had 800 pamphlets of the Constitution delivered to Freedom Elementary and Farmersville Junior High School, where fifth and eighth grade students are required to learn about the history of the American Constitution.

At Freedom Elementary, Principal Melinda Urton said fifth grade teachers Laura Reynoso, Linda Velasquez and Robert Ortega came up with the idea to have a competition to see which students could best recite the Preamble to the Constitution. They were judged by Vanderslice, Superintendent Christina Luna and Assistant Superintendent Paul Garcia. Six, fifth grade students all recited the Preamble from memory and each received a $20 gift certificate to the Pizza Factory and a $10 gift certificate to Dollar Tree. Students who recited the Constitution were: Bryan Cabrera, Noah Svoboda, Narciso Mendoza, Heidy Sanchez, Antonio Arcos and Elias Salomon.

Prior to the recitation of the Preamble, the teachers went through the opening statement of the the Constitution and had students describe, in their own words, what each line meant. Afterwards, the fifth grade classes sang “God Bless America.”

Vanderslice paid for the pamphlets out of his Good Works fund, which provides each school board members with $1,500 per year to spend on a project within the district. A Tea Party member, veteran and patriot, Vanderslice said he keeps a replica of the Constitution in his Speed Frame auto shop and looks at it every morning.

“Last year I gave money to the chess club, but this year I wanted to do something to make sure these students understand the significance of this country,” Vanderslice said.

Constitution Day is observed on Sept. 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787. The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 which renamed the holiday known as “Citizenship Day” to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”

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