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Schoolchildren asked to help restore Oregon Constitution document

A $60,000 campaign would restore and permanently display the 158-year-old document

Photo Credit: COURTESY OF THE OREGON STATE ARCHIVES - The preamble to the Oregon Constitution is part of the historic document that needs vital repairs.To address a longtime funding shortage, the Oregon secretary of state's office has issued a challenge to Oregon’s 600,000 schoolchildren: raise $60,000 by May 31 to restore the original Oregon state constitution to public view.

The Oregon State Archives houses the 158-year-old document, but because of its weathered and fragile state, it is rarely on display. An infusion of cash from the Oregon Constitution Challenge would fund a professional restoration of the document and a secure, climate-controlled display case at the Archives in Salem.

Schools that raise more than $250 will earn the right to have their name inscribed on a plaque near the display.

“If each student contributes just 10 cents each, then Oregon's schoolchildren can put this project on a path to success,” says spokesman Tony Green. “Our Constitution is both an important symbol of our democracy and the founding legal document upon which Oregon was built. It deserves to be restored and regularly displayed, and Oregon's schoolchildren are invited to help in that effort.”

Oregon’s schoolchildren have previously been enlisted to fundraise for restoration of the Golden Pioneer on top of the Capitol Building in Salem. That effort was completed in the early 1980s.

Learn more about Oregon's Constitution at the Oregon State Archives website or download a list of questions to help children study from the Secretary of State's Office. Students who submit written responses to the questions will have their answers permanently added to the state's archives.

By Shasta Kearns Moore
email: shasta@portlandtribune.com
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