Sending Constitutional Materials to the Schools
We have previously described to you the huge proposed undertaking of mailing to every school in the nation Constitution Week study materials for teachers to use in their classrooms. These materials meet the federal requirement to teach students about our nation's founding document. We are happy to report that the project is complete, even though it was peppered with unbelievable difficulties and seemingly impassable roadblocks.
Zeldon Nelson, chairman of the board of NCCS, and his family, worked around the clock from their home office in Malta, Idaho to bring together the most dedicated people to provide the funding and the labor for this unique and much-needed project during the first week of August. His writes:
The NCCS would like to give special thanks to the more than 350 volunteers who helped with the School DVD Project.
We had children as young as three years old carrying empty boxes away from the tables where the packets were being assembled to a lady 93 years old who worked four days from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and every age in between.
Missionaries from several different countries, who are serving in Utah, use some of their volunteer time to come and help, as well as a minister visiting from Illinois.
A lady with a four-day-old baby helped the entire week, as well as a lady that had been scheduled for surgery that same week.
Individuals from Missouri and Arizona spending most of their vacation time helping. Many people, after putting in a full day at work, spent their evenings putting packets together.
Several businesses donated food, and two church buildings in the area were made available for the project.
On the last day of the project two individuals gave generous donations to complete the postage necessary to mail the packets to the schools.
Thanks to those of you who used your organizational and professional skills to help make it possible. Opposition was not absent from our efforts and neither were the Lord's miracles, to which all of the volunteers can attest.
Of the volunteers who came, many of them were from families who are members of a home schooling co-op. When they expressed interest in obtaining some of our NCCS study courses and textbooks for this year's schooling, Zeldon quickly offered them a "deal." If they would come and provide the manpower to get this project done, NCCS will make available to them some of our most treasured Constitution study materials for their various age groups. You will read comments about these books in the narratives that follow. It may even be said that this group of home schooling families gave the majority of the effort needed to get these Constitution packets to all the nation's public schools.
Here are just a few thoughts from those that were involved with the experience the first week of August:
Sandy Stock (parent)
"As I look back on this project, I still am amazed at all of the help that we received to bring this about. I don't think any of us realized just what it would take to put together 100,000 packets! But it became painfully clear as the work progressed. I personally had several déjà vu experiences all week that made me think that I was supposed to do this all along.
"From the beginning of July, I had it on my daily list to call Zeldon about ordering books for our Co-op. But everyday for some reason I would not have time to make the call. The morning that I finally called, I got up with a distinct impression that I should call right away. I had no idea what other chain of events had taken place. I'm glad that I called! We were able to involve 22 families from our home school co-op in this wonderful effort of great significance. All of the families have expressed to me how wonderful an experience it was to be part of something so significant to our country's future.
"For me personally, I felt I extended myself each day way beyond my own abilities, working 16 hour days from start to finish. Many times I felt too exhausted to continue, but would then feel as if I was being directed what to do and was given the strength to do it. Each day we would go to bed exhausted, yet so excited to be a part of this! We would get up early the next morning and have the strength to continue. Saturday morning, after all was done, I could not even get out of bed for most of the day - I was so drained - I know I had help along the way! We also had extra help when I would call places to get donations for lunches. We had many places that donated food during the week to keep the effort going.
"One particular experience stands out in my mind. When I found out Wednesday that we would have to stop the whole project because of needing to vacate the building, I felt heartsick. I felt I needed to do something to keep it going. I didn't want it to stop without seeing it to completion. I felt prompted at that time to call my church leader to see if it could be moved to another building instead. I prayed that the Lord would soften his heart. I found he was more than willing to have it at another building, and by Thursday evening our women's leader had called others to help. As a family, we put fliers on all the doors of the members on Friday morning and had quite a few come to help. The added fresh faces on Friday helped things keep moving.
"On Friday night at 10:15 p.m., when the last envelope was stuffed, there was such a great feeling there! But when we gathered round the cake, lighting the 100,000 candles (One "1" and five "0's") and sang God Bless America, the feeling was exhilarating. Those images and feelings will be forever imprinted upon my mind. What a great experience it was for all involved. It was an experience that I will never forget. It is my prayer as it is for the rest of those who were involved with this effort, that each of these DVD's will be put to good use and will inspire more to be sent their way. I feel like this event will be a catalyst in turning the hearts of the nation back to the purity of our roots."
"I also want to say thank you, Zeldon, for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be involved with this project. I especially enjoyed getting to know your sweet family. You have a wonderful, supportive family that held it all together with your example leading the way. I also wanted to say thank you for all of the wonderful books you gave to the Co-op. All of the families are so pleased with the books that you gave us. Thank you for your kindness and for your example."
Rich Bowman (parent):
"For me and three of my children, ages 17, 13, and 9, what would seem quite mundane and menial, was quite an event. To see so many people come together voluntarily, to set processes in place, and set up best practices and quality control in so short a time, was amazing.
"But the labor of assembling 100,000 envelopes, labels, DVDs, letters, and pamphlets for the use and sake of so many schools and colleges nationwide, as significant as it was, was not the miracle. The wonder happened to the participants, who did not complain because they felt that touching these essential works put them in contact with their own history and let them contact the Founders themselves and feel as though they were continuing the work of the Founders.
"This was a time to actually connect to the very foundations of freedom and be blessed directly by the Founders who seemed to whisper in our ears: 'Freedom endures eternally!' We all got to be part of the continuing process of founding and believing clearly in the fullness of the eternal message.
"The work was transcending-may it reach into every heart and mind of all those who are willing recipients of the message, and so 'May Freedom Ring!'"
Wendy Pettit (parent):
"We want to take a moment to thank you for the wonderful opportunity that you provided for our family and the wonderful books that you provided for us to help us with our studies of our heritage and the Constitution this year.. The Constitution Stuff-the-Envelopes Service Project on August 1, 2, and 3 was a wonderful experience for many reasons.
"There was such a great energy we felt there in the cultural hall. So many people organizing, laughing, working and jumping in helping with whatever needed to be done. Being involved with so many others doing the same service really helped us realize that there are many others who see an importance of helping the nation get back to studying the Constitution and our heritage. I loved having my children see the excitement, feel the energy, and be a part of this service. My boys and daughter were so happy to be there and were so happy to work! I seek for more opportunities like these for them!
"My eldest son, age 18, ended up having to come meet me at the church to get our house key because of the terrible storm that hit our home that morning and took out the power. He was amazed at the industrious beehive undertaking that was buzzing there in the room and out in the halls. He even stayed and helped for an hour himself before getting back to his own work.
"Personally, I enjoyed socializing with those I already knew and those who were new to my circle of friends. We laughed, practiced our organizational skills and had great conversations. I was impressed that people from Morgan County would have traveled such a long way to come support this event.
"Katelyn (14) said that she loved being there with so many other youth that wanted to be of service. She had fun keeping younger ones on task.
"John (10) says that it was 'cool and I loved the treats!' He also said 'I like seeing how fast I could put the DVD's in the pockets without touching the face. I got up to 26 DVD's in one minute! My mom did 29 once!'
"Benjamin (8) says that he 'loved ' it too. He usually just uses the term 'like', so his emphasizing 'loved' really means something! He said 'I had fun. One time I did 19 in one minute. It was easy for me to do and we could work together and get done fast! I want to do that again!'
"I had surgery on the 2 nd day of the project and I really felt like I was 'missing out' on the fun!
"We must emphasize our deep gratitude for the most incredible books that you gave to our family to aid us in our in-depth study of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution. I am completely dumb-founded at your unbelievable generosity and dedication to spread good works."
Wendy Roberts (parent):
"It was such a cool feeling to be part of something so needed in this country at this time. It felt like being a patriot and defending the Constitution. I had a wonderful thought as I was stuffing an envelope that a future President of the United States would be getting these packets to his school and the course of history would be changed because of the education on the Constitution he would get because of us.
"I was so grateful to be part of such an enormous and important undertaking and felt the hand of the Lord, which inspired that great document, moving it to the children of the country. Thanks so much for inviting our family to participate."
Tonya Nelson (parent):
" Our new baby boy was born on Friday and we started work on the project on Monday and continued throughout the week. It was amazing to witness the dedication of hundreds of volunteers throughout that week. The longer they stayed and worked, the more they seemed to sense the importance of what was taking place. At the beginning of the week, there were so many obstacles; we wondered how things could ever come together. However, as we witnessed the hand of the Lord bringing about miracles (including a very content newborn), doors were opened and it turned into an amazing experience. No one who was aware of the events of that week, from beginning to end, could ever doubt that the power of Providence was making sure that the principles of freedom would be sent forth throughout the nation. Our new little boy had a wonderful opportunity to feel the spirit of freedom at work at a very young age!"
A Special Follow-up Request of each NCCS Supporter
As you can see, a lot of time, effort, and expense went in to the preparation and mailing of the NCCS Constitution Packet to schools. We ask each of you who read this letter to contact your local schools and ask the social studies or history teachers, first, if they received the packet, and second, how they intend to use them for the Constitution Week requirement. We think local people asking those questions will give additional emphasis to the need for such instruction to our young people.
We would appreciate any feedback you can give us on your efforts or anything you might hear concerning the use of these valuable materials in the public schools of our country.
Have a great Constitution Week celebration.
Earl Taylor, Jr.