The Importance of Instilling Character and Patriotism at a Young Age

If you’ve ever attended a Legacy Traditional Schools flag ceremony, you know how powerful the message is. Each morning, nearly 20,000 students across all Legacy schools stand together, united to recite The Pledge of Allegiance. They don’t stand because they have to, but because they, adorned in their red, white and blue polo shirts, know that this is the greatest nation on the earth, and they passionately show their respect.

As The Atlantic noted in a 2010 report, Americans were more able to identify Michael Jackson as the composer of a number of songs than to know that the Bill of Rights was the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

When asked in what century the American Revolution took place and whether the Civil War, the War of 1812, and the Emancipation Proclamation preceded or followed the Revolution, more than 30 percent of respondents answered that question incorrectly.

And more than a third of Americans did not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees a right to a trial by jury. Meanwhile, 40 percent mistakenly thought that it secures the right to vote.

As a nation, we want informed, knowledgeable and responsible voters. This starts in the classroom with a strong curricular emphasis on civics, character, and patriotism. At Legacy, we have made this our mission since day 1.

In fact, in a recent questionnaire, Legacy Traditional Schools’ alumni, graduating from high school this year (2018), are representing our country in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy.

So it begs the question, how do we teach character and patriotism? We believe it starts with our teachers and dedicated campus staff.

They not only seek out ways to show their own patriotism, but they demonstrate passion and hard work. Consider Legacy Traditional School – Surprise Physical Education Teacher Jennifer Barcellona, whose “do as I do” message to her students aims to promote the same opportunities for movement and exercise that her parents did for her growing up.

“I have adopted the (do as I do) method of teaching and it never ceases to fail me in reaching each and every one of my students,” said Jennifer. “As I train for another Ironman Triathlon I proudly share my experiences with swimming, biking, running, and strength training with my students on a daily basis.”

Our teachers, along with our engaged parents, are our students’ greatest role models, and Jennifer’s inspiring story is not uncommon amongst our teachers. They know the intrinsic value of preparing students to be thoughtful, active citizens who have an appreciation for our national heritage.

The American ideal of being the greatest nation on earth is not only the representative of the power of patriotism but the power of education. At Legacy Traditional Schools, our community-minded students strive to make a difference and are ready to take on the world when they leave our doors.


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