San Diego City Councilmember Todd Gloria greets students before Constitution Day presentation at San Diego High International School
Celebrating the Constitution!
Constitution Day History
In 2004, Congress established "Constitution Day" as a national holiday to recognize the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Since 2005, publicly-funded schools have been required to provide educational programming about the Constitution on or about September 17th, each year. The San Diego ACLU launched Celebrate the Constitution! in 2007 to help local schools meet this requirement.
Constitution Day Program Background
In 2007, with the guidance of retired Third Circuit Court Judge H. Lee Sarokin, the San Diego ACLU launched a pilot project to teach San Diego students about the great American values embodied in our founding documents. That year, we matched public and private sector attorneys with 43 classes, reaching students from 3rd to 12th grades. The reviews from teachers, students, and presenters alike were universally enthusiastic.
Constitution Day Today
Following this success, the ACLU broadened the program's reach. Since its inception, we've matched hundreds of volunteer attorneys, elected officials, retired and sitting judges, community leaders, and others with with host teachers across the region. Throughout the years, our Constitution Day volunteers have reached more than 100,000 local children and youth, engaging them in thoughtful, nonpartisan dialogue about our country’s fundamental values, and inspiring them to think constructively about today’s tough civil rights and civil liberties issues.