Educational institutions that receive federal funding are required to hold an educational program about the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. When September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week.
This Congressional initiative is authorized by Section 111 of Division J of Pub. L. 108-447, the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005," Dec. 8, 2004; 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45 (Section 111). The U.S. Department of Education has issued two Federal Registers on this topic:
- Federal Register: May 24, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 99)
- Federal Register: May 31, 2005 (Volume 70, Number 103) (correction notice)
For more information, contact the U.S. Department of Education:
400 Maryland Avenue, SW.
Washington, DC 20202
Below are some informational resources about the Constitution, several of which the Federal Register references. While Mapping Your Future does not endorse any of these programs or websites, you might find them helpful when developing your program.
- The Library of Congress' repositories offer Constitutional documents and information.
- The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration offers Teaching with Documents: Observing Constitution Day.
- Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company, created the online Constitution Game.
- The National Constitution Center offers educational and programming materials for events to commemorate Constitution Day. These materials are available at little or no cost.
- Constitutional Rights Foundation is a nonprofit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society. The CRF website offers online lessons.
- The Teaching American History Institutes are federally funded programs to raise student achievement by improving teachers' knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of American history. They offer Internet lessons by education level for learning the Constitution.
- National Public Radio (NPR) offers Annenberg Classroom, which provide resources for excellent civics education.
- ConstitutionFacts.com has a variety of resources, including the text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. The website also offers the Constitution Challenge that allows you to challenge other individuals or teams with their knowledge of the Constitution.