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Draper Journal

APA Constitution Day program livestreamed, Veterans Day to be virtual as well

Nov 05, 2020 11:28AM ● By Julie Slama

American Preparatory Academy students sang the national anthem before their classmates and teachers took turns reading the U.S. Constitution and sharing it on a livestream on Constitution Day. (Screenshot)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

In an effort to educate and celebrate the foundation of the country, American Preparatory Academy held its first Constitution Day reading.

The reading was held virtually as the charter school with six area campuses is following social distancing guidelines in response to COVID-19 pandemic. One of the Draper campuses already has closed and reopened for eight days following the health department’s guidelines to reduce the number of cases.

Their annual Veterans Day program also will be modified and held virtually this year. It will be livestreamed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 11 at on https://www.ksl.com/watchit.

APA Executive Director Carolyn Sharette invited the community to follow the Constitution Day livestream.

“It will be a great day to read and reflect on the foundations of our nation,” she said.

The Constitution Day reading welcomed viewers with a clip from its annual Veterans Day program that was filmed last year as well as singing of the national anthem by socially distanced, masked students from the different campuses. 

Sen. Mike Lee shared why the Constitution is important: “The Constitution tells us where power may be exercised by whom and where its limits should be found.”

Eighth grade through high school students joined by faculty and staff each read portions of the Constitution.

Eighth-grader Elisha Wong said she was grateful to read her portion as her class following along with the steam.

“The section I read reminded me how important the different branches of government are to preserve democracy,” she said.

APA communications director Dan Bazan said reading along with the presenters was available to all their students.

“Most Americans haven’t read the Constitution and we want our students to read it, understand that our fundamental laws come from it,” he said. “We weren’t trying to be controversial or political, but have students understand it is where our freedoms lie.”

However, Bazan did confirm there was some concerns about it as one business declined to advertise, to support the program. Some students also declined to read it as they “don’t see it represents their freedoms.”

“It’s the nature right now that people see it may be a controversial document with the protests and civil unrest going on,” he said.

Bazan said that in 2004, an amendment recorded as Public Law 108–477 required all schools receiving federal funds to hold an educational program for their students on Sept. 17 of each year honoring the Constitution's signing. He said he does not know of many schools that honor that amendment.

Sept. 17 is celebrated since it is the day nine states ratified the document in 1787. 

In 1952, President Truman signed a bill that moved "I Am an American Day" from the third Sunday in May to Sept. 17. Congress renamed the holiday Citizenship Day. 

Four years later, the week beginning Sept. 17 annually is known as Constitution Week. 

“At APA, we are honored to celebrate the Constitution and our ‘American Ideals.’ We hope all families will read the U.S. Constitution this week and discuss the noble principles presented by our Founding Fathers,” he said.

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