Valley View and Oak Grove Elementary students brushed up on their knowledge of the Constitution with the help of a special guest from U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s office on Thursday.
Field Representative Claire McVay talked about the history of the Constitution and U.S. Government.
Representatives from the senator’s office go throughout the state during Constitution Week giving similar presentations.
“It was exciting for our students to get a chance to talk to a representative from a senator’s office,” Oak Grove principal Buck Watson said.
“I am so appreciative of Sen. Corker’s office making this offer to come and be a part of this Constitution Week. Constitution Day was actually Tuesday,” Valley View principal Sherrie Ledford said.
She said she hopes students will develop an appreciation for this country and those who protect it.
McVay said the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution 226 years ago for the original 13 states to establish government for the now independent states.
Representatives from these states drafted the document in four months.
She said they wanted “something better than they had, something that would last.”
Students read the Preamble to the Constitution and McVay explained the terms.
The Preamble reads, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
“We started off with ‘We the people.’ That is the basis for our government. We are a representative form of government. We elect representatives to go up to represent us and govern us in the Capitol,” McVay said. “ ‘We the people’ to me are some of the most important words in our Constitution.”
McVay explained that ‘general welfare” is a term still discussed.
“A lot of debate in Congress centers around what is the general welfare and what should the government supply?” McVay said. “What is the role of government?”
The rest of the Constitution is divided into articles. These articles establish the branches of government, checks and balances, freedoms of citizens and a national military.
“This document was written 226 years ago, but it has been changed,” McVay said. “The Constitution has been amended 27 times total.”
McVay also explained how senators like Corker and representatives work in Congress to represent each state.
Tennessee has two senators and nine representatives, McVay said.
The presentation ended with McVay asking students questions about the Constitution and giving small copies of the document to students who answered correctly.