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FERRIER FILES: Group wants to bring the Constitution to every Tennessee 8th grader

(Fox 17 News)

A Tennessee woman has made it her mission to give every eighth grade student a free copy of the U.S. Constitution.

Every Tennessee student learns about the United States Constitution in the 8th grade, but the state does not provide students with a copy of the document.

The 917 society is a middle Tennessee non-profit that wants to put a copy of the constitution in the hands of every eight grader in the state.

“This is the one thing that binds us together no matter what we believe," Joni Bryan Executive Director of the 917 Society said. "We want our kids to know their voice is important."

Bryan mails or delivers hundreds of copies of the Constitution to schools all over the state. Her booklet also includes the oath of citizenship, which is a nice touch for people who are born into the Constitution.

“We don’t get to take an oath so it is easy for us to take it for granted," Bryan said. "We want kids to really understand that this document is the cornerstone of our country."

Richview Middle School History Teacher Ann Marie Crozer is teaching the constitution and using 917 Society booklet.

“This is something that's going to give them an understanding of their rights for the rest of their lives,” Crozier said.

She noticed everyone has kept their little book, and some students have really embraced the Constitution.

“I think the U.S Constitution is amazing," 13-year-old Nicholas Newman said. "It sets guidelines for everybody. It is a guideline for what life should be like. Basic rights. Otherwise the government would walk all over us."

Nothing could make Bryan happier, but she said the non-profit business is tough.

“We believe that putting it in their hands creates that sense of ownership that is there. It is not just the constitution it is my constitution,” said Bryan.

Bryan said she hopes people will pay $25 a year and help them spread the word. Anyone interested in helping can go to 917Society.com to learn more.


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