FARMINGTON — The Americanism Committee of local Elks Lodge No. 2430 has prepared and given a “Heritage Corner Kit” to every public school library in Franklin County.
The kit includes copies of American historic documents such as The Bill of Rights, the Constitution, The Gettysburg Address and the words to “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Committee members Lynda Haskell and Darrel Rogers presented the last one to Mallett School Librarian Betsy Turcotte on Wednesday. Turcotte plans to make the kit available through the school library for teachers to use.
Each public school, elementary through high school, in Franklin County has been visited this spring and given a kit, Haskell said.
The Elks Lodge tries to find ways to promote Americanism and to honor the United States, its flag and veterans, Haskell, committee chairwoman, said. Committee members include Roberta Ranger, Kevin Brown, Rogers and Haskell.
The committee’s goal is to inspire a spirit of American patriotism and awareness and create feelings of pride and respect toward patriotism through programs and activities in the local lodge area.
Along with providing the kits, the lodge sponsored an essay contest for students in fifth and sixth grades and another for seventh- and eighth-graders. Each student was asked to write an essay on “Why I am Proud to Be An American.”
From all the essays submitted, three were included in a regional competition, she said.
The local winner is Emma Stinson from Academy Hill School in Wilton. She won a $25 gift certificate to a book store of her choice.
Next year, the committee plans to focus activities on the flag and flag etiquette. Again this year the lodge will observe June 14 as Flag Day and will sponsor a Flag Day service on June 12.
The 141-year-old fraternal organization was created to promote and practice the virtues of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity and quicken the spirit of American patriotism and cultivate good fellowship, according to Elks mission and purpose statements.