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Essay for America: Teaching kids about the Constitution

National Assessment for Educational Progress found two years ago that only 67 percent of U.S. high school students had studied the U.S. Constitution. That is down from 72 percent in 2007. A University of Pennsylvania poll found two years ago that only 38 percent of Americans could name all three branches of the federal government. There is something we can do about this appalling ignorance.

For Constitution Day, the New Hampshire Supreme Court in conjunction with the Nackey Loeb School of Communications and several New Hampshire newspapers holds an essay contest for students. Participating students answer a question that addresses an important constitutional issue. This year’s topic is how Americans balance liberty and national security. Relevant, no?

Students in grades 5-12 may enter. The full essay question and supporting materials can be found online at

Essays may be mailed to Shannon Sullivan, Community Relations Manager, New Hampshire Union Leader, Box 9555 Manchester, N.H. 03108. The deadline is Oct. 7. Parents, this is a great way to get your child to learn about the Constitution and think about how it pertains to his or her life. It would educate your child and strengthen the nation at the same time. It’s a win-win.

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