YO! Let’s Hear it for the Presidents… Good, Bad, and SO-SO!

It All Started With George! !

Dear Reader:

Have you ever taken a moment to wonder how a ” President’s Day” idea got started?

President’s Day was originally established in 1885… in recognition of just one President-our first… George Washington!

It remained that way for almost a century… until 1971 when some political holiday committee decided to honor all U. S. Presidents, Past and Present, while also creating another three-day weekend for the nation’s workers.

( Now the apostrophe came after the ” s.” ( Plural Presidents’ Day … on the third Monday in February. )

In education, however, schools usually take a four-day weekend. Friday and Monday off. Sometimes one day might be designated as a ‘ Teacher Work Day’ -usually the Friday before the weekend so ” plan ahead ” teachers …wanting to join their families in the mountains for the last ski trip of the season… save their one ” personal day ” for just this occasion! The day has grown in popularity!

*** And since Gerald Ford was a natural athlete in just about every athletic endeavor he certainly would have approved-he loved skiing in Vail, Colorado with his family as President.

This year Rutledge’s third grade teacher got her class interested in learning all the Presidents using author-Will Cleveland and art illustrator, Tate Nation’s mnemonic picture-story device in their highly popular book… Yo Millard Fillmore! So much fun! Rutledge was the first boy to learn them all!

Long live the ” People’s House!”

Yesterday I surprised Rutledge with Presidential ” surcies ” for being the first to learn all the Presidents…including 4 Presidential dollar coins-only given out after identifying the coin Presidents from my clues , a football with four collegiate football players who went on to become President of the United States, ( thanks Anne for the help) a children’s book on the Presidents and best of all … a personal note from Tate Nation , the illustrator of Yo Millard Fillmore and friend of mine! We did many workshops around SC together!

I think perhaps there should be one small change in the title of our upcoming holiday-Instead of Presidents’ Day… it should read-Prayers for the Presidents’ Day.

Every President, who has ever sat in the Oval Office deserves (but more importantly) NEEDS our prayers. Personally speaking I wouldn’t wish that job on my worst enemy and I never cease to be amazed that anyone is willing to take it on. How many problems can one person consume without a break-down these days? How does anybody sleep?

So until tomorrow… let us pray for our leader in these turbulent times…that God be with him, guide him, and protect this country as we try to mold our democracy to conform to our Founding Fathers’ hopes and aspirations… hopefully exceeding and broadening our perceptions of equality in the process!

Today is my favorite day- Winnie the Pooh

Hope in the form of yellow daffodils

A little downtrodden due to the rain but ” the sun will be out tomorrow.”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to YO! Let’s Hear it for the Presidents… Good, Bad, and SO-SO!

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    Congratulations …job well done for both of you. Love that book and want to get the new one….


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