EVERY CHILD, EVERY DAY, WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Syms Middle School receives Freedom Shrine display from Virginia Exchange Clubs
On May 9, 2019, a Freedom Shrine was installed and dedicated at Syms Middle School. The event was made possible by the combined efforts of ten Exchange Clubs from across Virginia. The clubs include Wythe, Downtown Hampton, Hampton, Hampton Roads Networking, Henrico, Old Point Comfort, Peninsula Networking, Poquoson, Suffolk, and York.
A Freedom Shrine is a display of a collection of historic document replicas that serves to remind us of the great efforts that have been taken to ensure our freedom. The Freedom Shrine originated with the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947 carrying an exhibit of historic documents such as the United States Constitution and Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The tour provided Americans the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of American citizenship. Today, Exchange Clubs carry on this tradition by installing Freedom Shrines in schools and public buildings. The shrine will serve to reinforce the documents students learn about in history class and the persons who wrote them.
The Exchange Clubs also sponsored an essay contest in which Syms students selected one of the historic documents displayed on the Freedom Shrine and wrote about its effects on our democracy.
The winners of the contest are as follows:
Eryn Stackhouse – 1st place
Courtney Conner – 2nd place
Kellen LaRoche – 3rd place
Each student was presented with a gift card and certificate for their outstanding essays.
In addition to providing the Freedom Shrine, the Exchange Clubs purchased a new U.S. flag, as well as a Commonwealth of Virginia flag, to be flown proudly over Syms Middle School.
Exchange is America’s Service Club, a group of men and women working together to make our communities better places in which to live through programs of service in Americanism, community services, and youth activities.
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