“Old teachers never die, they just keep thinking of ways to educate and inspire people”.

On a rainy Rhode Island Victory Day listening to Annie Lenox’s Medusa and reading Jon Meacham’s “The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels”, an idea flashed into my head; A viral challenge that celebrates the Constitution.  Yes, I thought, no moving cars, ice water, plastic bottles, lip syncing, or ghost peppers involved, just a copy of the US Constitution, a cell phone and a social media post. I enlisted the fabulous Ken Abrams, teacher extraordinaire from Scituate Middle School, who concurs that we need to reinvigorate the civics component, as well as interest in the founding documents and together we put forth this challenge.

Let’s face it, civics are dying a slow and painful death. The death of civics and lack of its instruction are taking a toll on our participatory government. And so, the old history teacher in me felt the urgent need to make a small step to ignite what I hope will be a rebirth of interest in our Constitution.  The rediscovery of our founding principles will no doubt make clearer our responsibilities in self-governance.  The idea is to not over complicate this, just take a selfie with your copy of the Constitution, post it on your Twitter, FB,  Insta or Snapchat, use the hashtag, #Wethepeoplechallenge. That’s it. But, here’s the rub, you may not have one. So, get one. (available on the website) Read it, share it and know it.  I have reached to my friends in teaching, government and law and will we be reaching out to other resources to obtain pocket Constitutions and make available for people to treasure and selfie with! The web page has a downloadable version as well, also perfect for a selfie.  A special thank you to Senators Whitehouse and Reed for sending along some pocket Constitutions for the challenge.

US Constitution Day is September 17, 2018, and school has started. The challenge is to make this Constitution selfie go viral before 9-17-2018.

Let’s do this!               #Wethepeoplechallenge

For more information, visit https://wethepeoplechallenge.com/.

Written and submitted by Carol Anne Costa 

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.