Templeton Foundation Awards $5.5 Million for Civic Literacy Efforts

Templeton Foundation Awards $5.5 Million for Civic Literacy Efforts

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia has announced a three-year, $5.5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to expand its civic literacy efforts.

The grant will be used to create a national Coalition of Freedom to increase awareness of the rights set forth in the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents through an online "Interactive Constitution"; playwriting, short story, and essay contests for students; on-site and town hall debates; and a contest that challenges public and independent school teachers to create plans to increase constitutional literacy in their schools. The contest will include prizes of up to $100,000 for the winning schools and $10,000 for the winning students.

The coalition will be overseen by an ideologically balanced scholarly advisory board co-chaired by Lee Otis, senior vice president and faculty division director of the Federalist Society, and Caroline Frederickson, president of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

"We are deeply grateful to the John Templeton Foundation for this generous grant," said Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen. "It will help the National Constitution Center achieve our mission of serving as America's leading nonpartisan resource for constitutional education and debate. I'm especially excited that we can now create the best Interactive Constitution on the Web, supervised by an advisory board co-chaired by leaders of the conservative Federalist Society and liberal American Constitution Society."