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Geoff Liesik

Love of U.S. Constitution is contagious for Uintah County students

By Geoff Liesik | Posted - Sep 17th, 2013 @ 6:08pm


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FORT DUCHESNE, Uintah County — Jeff Ross didn't really discover his love for the U.S. Constitution until he was in college.

"It's something I started to get excited about as an undergrad," Ross said.

Now an attorney practicing in Vernal, Ross is working with elementary-age students to help them develop a passion for one of the country's founding documents.

"There's value in having students gain that, I guess, excitement about (the Constitution) and understanding of it at a much younger age," he said.

On Tuesday, Ross spoke to the fifth-graders at Eagle View Elementary School in Fort Duchesne. The presentation was one of many made around the state and the country as part of the national observance of Constitution Day, which celebrates the document's signing by delegates to the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787.

"The Constitution is 226 years old today," Ross told the students. "Pretty cool!"

His hour-long presentation touched largely on the separation of powers and the important role the Constitution plays in American government. He also helped the students hold a short mock trial for Cinderella's wicked stepsisters on charges of "meanness and cruelty."

Of course the trial drew laughter from the kids, but Ross said even the lighthearted role-play is a step toward helping students gain a basic understanding of the rights and responsibilities the Constitution provides.

"There's always more that you can learn in terms of the Constitution," he said. "It's important to know it and understand it, to know how our country works, how it ticks."

As part of Tuesday's lesson, all the fifth-graders at Eagle View took a quiz on the Constitution. If you'd like to test your constitutional knowledge, you can find that quiz here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/09/17/the-constitution-day-quiz-test-yourself/

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