Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Get Lesson along with Good Time; FCCJ Stages Its Annual Constitution Day to Teach Nation's Founding Principles

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Students Get Lesson along with Good Time; FCCJ Stages Its Annual Constitution Day to Teach Nation's Founding Principles

Article excerpt

Byline: KRISTINA CIRCELLI

Free "Betsy Ross" ice cream sundaes, "Yankee Doodle" (Hot) Dogs, a display of banned books and an educational game of Constitution Jeopardy were just part of the recent third annual Constitution Day at the Deerwood Center of Florida Community College at Jacksonville.

The event, which imparts information about the nation's founding principles, allowed students to pick up voter registration forms and join a "Write a Soldier" organization to write letters to U.S. soldiers overseas.

A raffle for tickets to an upcoming Jacksonville Jaguars game for the United Community Charities Campaign and a sale of hot dogs for a scholarship fund helped draw in dozens of students.

The purpose of the event is education, organizers said.

"A lot of things get muddled [about the Constitution]," student learning specialist Carol Gladstone said, and the event was intended to clear up those gray areas.

With an audience of about 80 students and faculty, attorney/professor Jack Bridges kicked off the event by speaking about the infringement of rights through wire-tapping, encouraging students to always ask questions to those in positions of power and to never sit back and let things be dictated to them.

Professors of history, humanities, critical thinking and others brought their classes to attend the presentation as an assignment, using the Constitution and the lecture as the focal point of the day's lesson. Students were so inspired by the lecture that many classes thereafter revolved around passionate discussions on the topic of people's rights.

With the help of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, better known around campus as a student assistant and an English professor, a game of Constitution Jeopardy followed the speaker.

Students were divided into two small teams and given pocket guides to the Constitution, guides that were handed out to any who participated in any aspect of the event. …

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