The Liberty Day Institute’s Field Trips have been a staple initiative for the organization for years—and with good reason! With this project, the Institute and our partner organizations provide kids with the chance to immerse themselves in government in a unique way and/or to “stump” adults on questions about the Constitution and feel empowered by the experience.
The Liberty Day Institute has cosponsored Capitol Visits and other such experiences in 35 states and the District of Columbia, with annual programs for Liberty Day (March 16, James Madison’s birthday) in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Denver, Colorado, going back nearly a decade. We have also worked in the past with the United States Congress, the FBI, and D.C. area schools for Constitution Day (September 17) events.
Empowering the Students
The Liberty Day Kids who visit a capitol, local post office, or other venue take part in a one-of-a-kind experience. With adult supervision, they quiz everyone they meet, from visitors and congressional staffers to police officers, congresspeople, and even state governors. They participate in tours, recite the Pledge of Allegiance on the house and senate floors, and much more!
But most importantly, the Liberty Day Field Trips empower kids.
Whenever the Institute brings kids to capitols, post offices, university campuses, and elsewhere to quiz, each one gets to experience something much like they’re the TV show Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?
Sometimes, it’s the kids who are the experts! One fifth grade girl was quizzing a Colorado state legislator who got several questions wrong. At the end of the conversation, the legislator asked, “Don’t I get a sticker?” The girl put her hand on her hip, pointed her right index finger at him, and said, “You should know this—it’s your job.”
Participating students really get a kick out of the experience, especially when they seem to know things other people don’t!
“We questioned them [on Liberty Day 24 Q&As] and they were easy, hard, and medium questions and we gave them prizes every time they got it right. It was cool,” praised Laura, a 10-year-old Liberty Day Kid. “Some of them knew usually the easy ones and stuff, but a lot of them didn’t know and they learned more.”