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It's official. Starting with the school year 2005, all schools that receive federal monies must "hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year." Here are some resources to help you "get smart" about the Constitution.

(If September 17 is on a weekend day, schools must recognize Constitution Day the week before or after.) What the required "educational program" entails is not detailed in the notice of implementation from the U.S. Department of Education, nor is it detailed in the federal appropriations bill that requires it. So it appears that the recognition of Constitution Day is up to your school.

In Words We Can All Understand
The Constitution is a living document, but its language is formal and, after all, more than 200 years old. Two online resources aim to help the modern reader, especially the student, have access to the Constitution in plain, current language. The National Constitution Center offers an Interactive Constitution. Click on any other images at the top of the page to read an explanation of an article or amendment. JusticeLearning.org presents a similar Constitution Guide; click on any article or amendment, then click the words What It Means for a straightforward explanation. Enjoy celebrating one of the world's greatest traditions: The United States Constitution!

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