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By The Capistrano Dispatch

The Youth Advisory Board and fourth graders from San Juan Elementary School helped the San Juan Capistrano City Council celebrate the 163rd anniversary of California’s first constitution. Photo by Brian Park

The San Juan Capistrano City Council celebrated the 163rd anniversary of California’s first constitution on Tuesday, November 13. The original constitution was ratified nearly a year before California’s statehood and was eventually superseded by the state’s current constitution. Archive documents show that 22 San Juan Capistrano residents were part of the vote to approve the original constitution.

At the City Council meeting, the Youth Advisory Board led a reenactment of the vote featuring fourth-grade students from San Juan Elementary. The students also presented state birthday cards, which are currently on display at the San Juan Capistrano Library. The City Council welcomed the students, Youth Advisory Board members and Capistrano Unified School District Superintendent Joseph Farley onto the dais for a photo opportunity.

Laguna Woods-resident Galal Kernahan helped organize the effort and is part of a charge to include the state’s first constitution into the fourth-grade curriculum locally and statewide. What started at San Juan Elementary, Kernahan hopes, will become a model for other schools.

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