Pearson Foundation Underwrites National Tour of Rare Copy of Declaration of Independence
25 June 2009
Trenton, New Jersey First Stop as Students Win National Award for Mock Election Participation
Trenton, NJ - June 25 - The Pearson Foundation, The National Student/Parent Mock Election, and the non-profit youth voter registration organization Declare Yourself honored New Jersey schools this week as national winners for their participation in the National Student/Parent Mock Election campaign last fall. The schools in the state of New Jersey were chosen from thousands of participating schools for the impressive scope of their voter education and mock election campaigns.
As winners, an original copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed July 4, 1776, is on display June 24 and 25 at the State Museum in Trenton as part of a national tour being underwritten by the Pearson Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the education and technology company Pearson. This copy of the Declaration of Independence will visit six cities across the country to honor the winning schools, which include Andrew Carnegie Middle School (Carson, CA); Curie Metropolitan High School (Chicago); the Dade County School system (FL); Austin Independent School District (TX); and the schools in the state of Arizona.
One of only 25 known copies of the Dunlap imprint, the rare document is on display in recognition of the students’ participation in the Mock Election, for demonstrating leadership in educating young people on the importance of every single vote, and as part of New Jersey’s 345th anniversary salute.
At ceremonies held at the New Jersey State Museum yesterday, Governor Jon S. Corzine praised the state’s students as winners in the National Mock Election. He thanked Norman Lear, founder of Declare Yourself, and commended the Pearson Foundation for underwriting the visit of the Declaration of Independence to New Jersey.
Governor Corzine said, “Today we gather not simply to mark New Jersey’s 345th anniversary, but to reflect on the state’s unique role in contributing to growth and progress of America as a nation. The extraordinary sight of an original copy of the Declaration of Independence merely reinforces this fact, and in recognizing New Jersey’s school children for their interest in the democratic process, we should be thankful tomorrow’s generation is poised to carry this tradition forward.”
Kathy Hurley, Pearson’s Senior Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, presented awards to Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells; Commissioner of Education Lucille Davy; and the New Jersey Press Foundation. She also announced awards from the National Association of State Boards of Education, and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.
“We are thrilled to be able to sponsor this historic tour, and we congratulate New Jersey’s students for this tremendous accomplishment,” said Hurley. "Throughout the state, they worked tirelessly to help make the Mock Election a success, and through their actions brought to life the values embodied in our nation’s birth certificate, the Declaration of Independence.”
“The Mock Election teaches children vital lessons about the rights of citizens, the value of making their voices heard, and the importance of participating in the political process,” said Carol Bryan, Pearson’s Vice President for New Jersey. “We are honored to collaborate with the National Student/Parent Mock Election and Declare Yourself on this tour of the Declaration of Independence and help children of all ages in New Jersey and throughout the United States see an important piece of their history.”
The National Student/Parent Mock Election is a voter-education program to teach the nation’s youth about the importance of voting on a ballot similar to one used in the General Election. The New Jersey Press Foundation assisted in coordinating the Garden State’s 2008 effort.
On July 4, 1776, Thomas Jefferson completed the final draft of the Declaration of Independence and rushed it to the local print shop of John Dunlap in Philadelphia. Dunlap printed an estimated 200 copies on large poster size sheets of paper called broadsides, which were immediately sent to the colonies and King George to officially declare America as independent from England.
In 1989 a flea market shopper purchased a frame he admired for $4.00. Later, he removed a piece of paper wedged between the frame and the painting and discovered what would soon be authenticated by the Getty Museum as the 25th remaining copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Declare Yourself founder Norman Lear and his wife Lyn purchased the copy in 2000 for $8.1 million, with the goal of bringing “the people’s document” directly to the American people. The document remains as the only touring copy of the Declaration of Independence.
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About the National Student/Parent Mock Election
The National Student/Parent Mock Election (NSPME) is the nation’s oldest, largest and most successful voter-education project, dating from 1980. Since the first Mock Election in 1980, over 50 million young voters have cast their ballots and, in the process, discovered what it means to be an American citizen and the value of citizenship in our democracy. Every generation is invited to participate in the National Student/Parent Mock Election and to help “preserve and protect” our democracy. Partners for the 2008 National Student/Parent Mock Election included: USA Today, the Pearson Foundation, the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation, Declare Yourself, Strong American Schools, School Perceptions, Google, BrainPOP, the National PTA, the National School Boards Association, the National Council for the Social Studies, the American Association of School Administrators, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the National Association of Student Councils, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the National Association of Secretaries of State. Additionally, the National Student/Parent Mock Election’s supporters have included the Election Assistance Commission, and the Kaplan Foundation. The collective contributions of all supporters help NSPME create a richer and more meaningful experience for students, parents and teachers. For more information, go to www.nationalmockelection.org.
About the Pearson Foundation
The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson’s (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at www.pearsonfoundation.org.
About Declare Yourself
Declare Yourself is a national nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign to empower and encourage every eligible 18-29 year-old in America to register and vote in local and national elections. Using the power of strategic media and retail partnerships, celebrity spokespeople, and most importantly, mobile and Internet technology, Declare Yourself’s campaign blankets the landscape of popular culture, as well as universities and high schools, with a simple, clear message: REGISTER and VOTE! Since 2004, Declare Yourself has registered almost 4 million young people via our on-line registration tool, on-location efforts, and Ultimate College Bowl contest, contributing significantly to the unprecedented turnout of youth voters in the 2008 Presidential Election – 24 million – a major increase from 2004. For more information, visit www.declareyourself.com.
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