"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage
I'm a fifth-grade teacher in Colorado, and an intrical part of teaching civics is providing students with our primary sources: the founding documents. This is critical in understanding what “We the People” really means. Today, as they did over 230 years ago, those documents instill in students the belief that all our voices are important. Everyone of our citizens are given the right to pursue liberty. Futures do not have to be inevitable and "Little voices" can make dramatic impacts on events. That is Thomas Paine's greatest contribution to our country. His pamphlet, Common Sense, spoke to all the voices in the 13 colonies during a time of great fear and indecision. He gave a vast number of citizens a vision of what each could do, 176 days before the Declaration of Independence. A belief that power should radiate from the citizens. That message is still paramount to all our students today. For that pamphlet alone, Paine needs to be recognized as a integral part of the American miracle. Mark Wilensky, author of "The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine: An Interactive Adaptation for All Ages"
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