ImageRotarians distribute copies of the Constitution

By Michele Willer-Allred

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Members of the Rotary Club of Simi Valley visited three middle school campuses Tuesday morning to give the eighth-graders a pocket-size copy of the U.S. Constitution.

The gesture celebrated the 225th anniversary this week of the signing of the Constitution.

The students in teacher Matt Kingsbury's history class were surprised when they received their gift even if they didn't completely understand its significance at the moment.

However, they were reminded by Kingsbury that they would be studying the Constitution in depth during the next month.

Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber, a Rotary Club member, said the idea came about when he was hosting a town hall last year. A man at the meeting said students back East received copies of the Constitution to recognize Constitution Day, Sept. 17.

Huber talked about the idea with Rob Collins, a Simi Valley Unified School District board member.

The Rotary Club teamed with the Rancho Simi Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the school district for the project.

The Simi Valley City Council also recently declared Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week in the city.

"As this is an election year, hopefully the students will be inspired to use this gift as a resource to help them better understand how our political process works," said Tonie Valdez, president of the Rotary Club.

Rotarians and members of the DAR delivered the booklets Wednesday to Valley View, Sinaloa and Hillside middle schools.

"What better way to promote patriotism and our American history than by educating our students about the supreme law of the land, our Constitution," said Patty Schned, the DAR regent.

Huber joined Rotarians Terry Marvin, Coleen McIntyre and Rosie Runion, as well as Hillside Middle School Principal Laura Wellington, to deliver the booklets to classes at the school.

Marvin asked the students in Chris Kuske's U.S. history class what the first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution are.

"Those three are so important because it shows that the power belongs to the people. The people established the Constitution. The people used the document to create a government to protect the rights of the people," Marvin said.

"Make sure to read the Constitution and run for office some day," Marvin added.

Kuske's class was taking a test on the Enlightenment when their booklets were delivered.

Kuske told his students not to lose the booklet because it would help them memorize the Preamble and a part of the Constitution they will be learning soon.

"Make sure to read it. And read it to your parents, too, because they probably need a refresher," McIntyre told the students.

Kingsbury said he appreciated that the Rotary Club and mayor came out to deliver the booklets.

His students Nyaabila Apambire and Mike Ramon, both 13, also appreciated the gift.

"I'm going to keep it forever," Ramon said.

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