In conjunction with Constitution Day, Sept. 17, the Optimist Clubs of Lewiston/Auburn, Gray-New Gloucester and the Tri Town Optimist Club of Minot, Poland, and Mechanic Falls, are offering  free pocket-sized Constitutions that can be used in the classroom or for home studies.

The Constitutions are available to any interested schools, teachers or students. Quantities are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis.

A federal law passed in 2004 requires that all schools that receive federal funding provide a course to all students on the U.S. Constitution on Constitution Day. The law is known as H.R. 4818, and the text is found in section 111(b). The Founding Fathers ratified the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, according to a news release from the Lewiston/Auburn club.

The law was passed with the urging of then-Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who is remembered for always carrying a copy of the Constitution with him in his pocket.

All public and private schools are urged to observe this law, and give the Constitution at least this one day of national observance. Some schools have a special assembly, but most just incorporate a Constitutional lesson plan into their normal class day.

To order the Constitutions, contact any Optimist Club member or call 207-783-5269.


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