The Liberty Day Institute’s Field Trips have been a staple initiative for the organization for years—and with good reason! With this project, the Institute and our partner organizations provide kids with the chance to immerse themselves in government in a unique way and/or to “stump” adults on questions about the Constitution and feel empowered by the experience.
The Liberty Day Institute has cosponsored Capitol Visits and other such experiences in 35 states and the District of Columbia, with annual programs for Liberty Day (March 16, James Madison’s birthday) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado, going back nearly a decade. We have also worked in the past with the United States Congress, the FBI, and D.C. area schools for Constitution Day (September 17) events.
Empowering the Students!
The Liberty Day Kids who visit a capitol, local post office, or other venue take part in a one-of-a-kind experience. With adult supervision, they quiz everyone they meet, from visitors and congressional staffers to police officers, congresspeople, and even state governors. They participate in tours, recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the house and senate floors, and much more!
But most importantly, the Liberty Day Field Trips empower kids.
Whenever the Institute brings kids to capitols, post offices, university campuses, and elsewhere to quiz, each one gets to experience something much like they're the TV show Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?
Sometimes, it’s the kids who are the experts! One fifth grade girl was quizzing a Colorado state legislator who got several questions wrong. At the end of the conversation, the legislator asked, “Don’t I get a sticker?” The girl put her hand on her hip, pointed her right index finger at him, and said, “You should know this—it’s your job.”
Participating students really get a kick out of the experience, especially when they seem to know things other people don’t!
“We questioned them [on Liberty Day 24 Q&As] and they were easy, hard, and medium questions and we gave them prizes every time they got it right. It was cool,” praised Laura, a 10-year-old Liberty Day Kid. “Some of them knew usually the easy ones and stuff, but a lot of them didn’t know and they learned more.”
How It Works
At the Liberty Day Institute, we know that everyone we work with has a passion for this country and everything it has to offer. We share your commitment to certain ultimate goals and objectives that your organization has developed. That is why we believe in forming and cultivating a partnership with your group to make each and every program a success that everyone involved is eager to return to.
When we work with other organizations in the effort to open up the hearts and minds of kids to our nation’s foundations, we’re partners in the effort. Over the course of our storied 18-year history, the Liberty Day Institute has successfully collaborated with Optimist, Lions, and Kiwanis Clubs, along with schools and government organizations. Here’s how it works:
- The partner organization first contacts the capitol or other location and a local class or two and arranges for a Field Trip. They then purchase the materials for each student and chaperone—usually consisting of the Liberty Day Constitution booklet with Q&A flashcards, Liberty Day Kids stickers, and Liberty Day Kids t-shirts.
- The Liberty Day Institute ships the materials, provides endorsement letters and other key aids, and helps with the arrangements based on the agreement made between the Institute and our partner organization.
- The Liberty Day Institute and our partners frequently arrange for a guest speaker, such as a legislator, to visit the students in class shortly after the day of the Field Trip.
That’s it in a nutshell. With these simple steps, the Liberty Day Institute’s Field Trips provide students with a rare chance to experience government first-hand and become empowered as they quiz others about the Constitution and receive recognition from their local or national legislature. In Colorado, for instance, a select group of students have read the Declaration of Independence in both 2013 and 2014 on the floor of the State House!
That’s it in a nutshell. With these simple steps, the Liberty Day Capitol Visits provide students with a rare chance to experience government first-hand and become empowered as they quiz others about the Constitution and receive recognition from their local or national legislature!
Interested in bringing the Liberty Day Institute’s Field Trip program to your state capitol, local university, or city hall? E-mail us at Mail@LibertyDay.org or give the Institute a call toll-free at 866.718.3434 today!