Three former New York educators, disturbed that America’s founding principles are getting swept under the rug in today’s classrooms, have taken matters into their own hands with a free, one-day “Freedom Camp” to acquaint kids with the values that led to our country’s greatness.
The camp was the brainchild of Donna Bennett, who was disturbed about the homework her 10-year-old was bringing home from his fifth-grade classroom, according to EAG News.
The idea began with an essay the boy had written called, “Christopher Columbus the Monster,” exacerbated by the two weeks his class spent studying the United Nation’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” while ignoring America’s own founding documents.
The assignments confirmed a general feeling in the lifelong Democrat that schools aren’t teaching students about our national heritage and that “patriotism” has become a dirty word for too many educators.
She summarizes her concerns by quoting Abraham Lincoln: “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
Bennett and two other former teachers in New York’s Canandaigua community – Coleen Avery and Frank Tischer – are trying to counter this troubling trend.
In addition to teaching kids about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the camp will instruct them on how faith came into play in shaping the nation.
“The kids will hear about how awesome our Founding Fathers were and how important the Declaration of Independence is,” Bennett told EAG. “I’m so excited about it.”
But instilling a sense of patriotism in the students isn’t the camp’s only goal. The three founders also hope to combat the Common Core curriculum approach to math — Bennett’s area of expertise. Common Core emphasizes the “why” of math rather than the “how,” and overcomplicates what had always been simple calculations, she said.
The program will be held next week during Christmas break, and the group plans similar events during scheduled breaks in February and April, capped off with a three-day Freedom Camp during the summer.
Bennett has been using social media to publicize the events, hoping to get similar programs started across the country. The reaction so far has been positive, she said.
“This is a movement, but it’s not that radical of a movement,” Bennett told EAG. “We’re just getting back to basics.”
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