Lengthening our stride in teaching the Constitution

The National Center for Constitutional Studies has been in existence now for over 30 years. Established on July 4, 1971, our instructors have taught the Constitution in every state of this union to thousands of people. Our seminars have ranged, in the beginning, from a four-weekend course to a one-day course. We have also taught by way of television, radio, internet, video and cassette tapes, and DVD.

The past 28 months have been a whirlwind of teaching

Since August 2009, our NCCS instructors have taught 289 all-day seminars in 39 states, the most ever in such a short period of time. On several Saturdays, as many as eight seminars were being held in the country at the same time. The count by states looks like this:

 

Alabama

3

 

Nevada

6

Alaska

1

 

New Jersey

9

Arizona

21

 

New Mexico

4

Arkansas

2

 

New York

3

California

26

 

North Carolina

7

Colorado

10

 

Ohio

27

Connecticut

6

 

Oklahoma

3

Florida

10

 

Oregon

10

Georgia

13

 

Pennsylvania

8

Idaho

5

 

South Carolina

4

Illinois

2

 

South Dakota

1

Indiana

6

 

Tennessee

7

Iowa

6

 

Texas

14

Kentucky

9

 

Utah

4

Louisiana

4

 

Virginia

7

Maine

5

 

Washington

9

Michigan

9

 

West Virginia

2

Minnesota

4

 

Wisconsin

7

Missouri

9

 

Wyoming

1

Montana

4

 

 

            

The red dots on this map show where we have been since August 2009!

 

We still have a lot of teaching to do!

We do not have to remind you how precarious our situation is in this country. Who among us would have thought just a few years ago that the United States would be facing such challenges and such critical conditions upon which our very existence as a free people depends?

But, once again, the Founders have an answer for us. It was Thomas Jefferson who told us what he believed is the answer to correct the abuses of Constitutional power. Said he:

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power."

Our Saturday seminars have produced a large number of informed Americans

Our one-day seminar format has generally been about eight hours in duration, usually from 8:30am to 4:30pm. When time for the lunch break and a morning and afternoon breaks are subtracted, the resultant actual teaching time is about six hours. Most of the morning instruction has been concerned with the historical development of the Constitutional principles, with stress on where the Founders got their great ideas. The afternoon is generally spent on the Constitutional Convention and the Constitution itself, with discussions on the most important points of the document.

Historically, Saturdays have proven to be the best time to hold these eight-hour seminars for two reasons:

  1. People are most available to come on Saturday and,
  2. Our instructors usually fly in from another location and it is necessary to accomplish the teaching all at one time. Instructors are not paid and that is when they are most available also.

These Saturday seminars will continue, hopefully in even greater numbers than ever. However, in an attempt to reach much greater numbers, we are proposing an expanded method of instruction. It will require us to “lengthen our stride” in teaching the marvelous formula of the Founders.

The proposed teaching program outlined below is based on the following observations from our Saturday Making of America seminars:

  1. Most groups which host our seminars already have week-day evening meetings with larger numbers of people attending. (Political parties, church groups, tea parties, 912 groups, etc.)
  2. Most people will make an evening available where they may not come to an all-day Saturday event, especially if they are not sure what it will be like.
  3. Many groups meet either weekly or monthly and are looking for an educational element to their meetings.
  4. The numbers which come are generally much greater on a week-day evening.
  5. Some have expressed that they would like the instruction to focus less on the historical development and more on the actual Constitution document itself.
  6. Technology has reached a point where, if people can be energized in a shorter, live meeting, they can study or listen or watch a more detailed presentation on their own time.

Our proposal to increase our teaching opportunities

The following guidelines are proposed:

  1. I would like to spend three to five days, say, for example, Monday evening through Friday evening, in an area of several towns/cities, preferably where we have had a number of seminars.
  2. Evenings would be spent in a three-hour seminar format, mostly in the Constitution itself.
  3. Daytime hours could be spent in speaking to other groups and traveling to another city/location for the next evening meeting.
  4. Cost would be $6.00 per attendee and would include a copy of our Pocket Constitution, a Principles of Liberty card, and a resource list.
  5. Other books and materials would be greatly reduced in quantity but would still be available to order.
  6. Host would be responsible for lodging/meals for the time in your city as we have done in our seminars before. We don’t mind staying with families to save costs. I may rent a car for the travel between locations.
  7. It would be nice if this trial proposal could take place during the months of June and/or July at least at the beginning. If it proves effective we can talk about other times.

An invitation for you to also Lengthen Your Stride for our country

This letter was previously emailed to most of the hosts of the 289 seminars spoken of above. The response is very encouraging. This email is being received by the many thousands who subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Some of you can perhaps be more involved than others, but hopefully, each of you can find a way to do something to help bring the message of America’s Founders to a nation’s people who are starving for real answers.

Sincerely,

 

Earl Taylor, Jr.