YMCA campers learn about Constitution

Published 2:03 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2019

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

YMCA campers in third grade and older learned about the U.S. Constitution and government during a presentation on July 2.

Denise Weaver of Congressman Gary Palmer’s office said the presentation was given throughout the district last year to a total of 3,000 fifth-grade students.

“What we cover is what is a Constitution, which they are beginning to study in fifth grade,” Weaver said. “We talk about some history behind the national anthem.”

She opened the presentation by asking students when the Constitution was written. One student came very close with 1786. The correct answer was 1787.

“Our Constitution has been in effect and is still working since 1787,” Weaver said. “Time tests how durable something is, so because it has been going for so long that shows us that it is worthy of our respect, and it is really a product that is working.”

She explained that the Constitution outlined the form of government for the country and how the three branches: executive, legislative and judicial would work.

Weaver also told students about how a bill becomes a law and the three branches of government.

Students were also given an overview of many of the historic monuments, memorials and museums that they can visit in Washington, D.C.

Weaver also emphasized the importance of thanking veterans for their service.

“We close with a photo of Condoleezza Rice, who was secretary of state under President George W. Bush,” Weaver said. “It is kind of an inspiration moment. She never knew sitting in her desk in Birmingham in the fifth grade that she would travel the entire world as secretary of state.”

She said Palmer had a similar experience.

Weaver said she used the photo as an opportunity to encourage students to “work hard, try hard.”

The presentation ended with a video message by Palmer.

Weaver said the presentations were something she wanted to be a part of because her undergraduate degree is in education and she enjoys interacting with the students.