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Press Release

Friday, September 17, 2010

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida Schools Pay Tribute to Freedom and Independence

~ Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week uphold the founding of democracy ~

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s schools, in honor of Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week, are beginning a week long celebration today of the principles and ideals on which our nation was founded. The Florida Legislature designated the observances to commemorate the signing of the United States Constitution in 1787 and to highlight the importance of civics and government.

“We live in the greatest nation on Earth, where freedom and liberty are inherent rights and citizens are left to pursue their dreams and aspirations in search of a fulfilling life,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “These types of observances play a critical role in helping our students understand the significance of our founding principles and the sacrifices our forefathers made in the name of freedom and independence.”

Constitution Day, which is being celebrated today, was created to acknowledge the history, significance and effect of the provisions in the Constitution and its amendments as essential knowledge for Florida students. Celebrate Freedom Week honors the sacrifices made for our country’s freedom and the values on which it was established. Constitution Day runs through the end of the day today, with Celebrate Freedom Week occurring September 20 – 24, 2010. School districts are encouraged to schedule appropriate instructional and celebratory activities during the observance that reinforce the tenets of our system of government.

During Celebrate Freedom Week, students will engage in an in-depth study of the intent, meaning, and importance of the Declaration of Independence. Students will also recite selected words from the Declaration of Independence that underscore citizens’ unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Students may also learn more about our nation’s path toward liberty by selecting books from the Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week Recommended Reading List. The list contains a wide variety of titles on the history and government of the United States that are appropriate for all ages and reading levels.

For more information about Constitution Day and Celebrate Freedom Week, including the recommended reading list and online resources for citizens, educators and students, visit www.fldoe.org/BII/Humanities/celebratefreedom.asp.