Adelyn Tordini, 19 months, of Whidbey Island, enjoys collecting tiny American flags at the Sequim View Cemetery following the Wreaths Across America event in December 2020. Tordini is the granddaughter of Judy Tordini, one of the event's organizers and co-chair of DAR's new Junior American Citizen club. Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell

Calling all young patriots: Michael Trebert Chapter DAR forming Junior American Citizen club

An organization whose heritage dates back to the 19th century is looking to bring in some younger members to help give back to the community while learning about good citizenship.

Next month, youngsters can even get a lesson in citizenship from George Washington.

The Michael Trebert Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is starting a new venture this fall with a Junior American Citizen club in Clallam County.

The program is open to youths of any grade level from kindergarten through high school (ages 4-18), said Marianne Burton, co-chair of the Michael Trebert Chapter DAR’s Junior American Citizen program.

The club will meet at 4 p.m. on the first and third Monday of each month at the American Legion Hall, 107 E. Prairie St., from September through April.

“In several of those months, there are opportunities to be involved in a community project,” Burton said. That can include any number of patriotic-themed events the DAR supports, including veterans recognition assemblies and the Wreaths Across America ceremony in December.

Junior American Citizen club members study civics and U.S. government principles, patriotism and American history, and learn about citizen ship in the classroom, in their group and in the community, program organizers say.

A local classroom can embrace a Junior American Citizen club and use curriculum in its lessons, Burton noted. Other entities such as church youth groups, 4-H clubs, homeschool groups, scouts, sports teams and student service clubs can form in conjunction with a junior DAR club, too.

“It’s very flexible,” Burton said.

“On the DAR website, they’ve created a library of … lesson plans. They have hundreds of resource guides on the topics and all sorts of things you can do around (a specific) topic. It’s all age-appropriate.”

Generally, junior club activities are “anything that builds community involvement that builds patriotism, a better understanding of American history and meaning of national holidays,” Burton said.

Junior American Citizen club members can also take part in some art and writing contests that have regional and national levels.

There is no cost to join the DAR junior club.

Program organizers host an informational meeting about the Junior American Citizen club at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, in the conference room at the KSQM 91.5 FM studio, 609 W. Washington St.

(Editor’s note: There is a possibility of cancellation of the Sept. 2 meeting as COVID-19 restrictions emerge, program organizers said Aug. 18. From Burton: “If Covid restrictions prevent a gathering at the KSQM Conference Room on September 2 and you would like to receive information about JAC clubs, please email mtc1918jac@gmail.com and write ‘newsletter’ in the subject line. Please include the first name and age of each child who is interested in participating.” — MD)

There, members of DAR join Gen. George Washington re-enactor Vern Frykholm Jr. in learning what good citizenship looks like.

DAR’s junior clubs started at the national level in 1901, Burton said.

“Unlike DAR membership — you have to be related to a patriot — (members) don’t even have to be a citizen (to join a Junior American Citizen club). They just have to want to learn to be a good citizen.”

For more information about Michael Trebert Chapter DAR’s Junior American Citizen club, email to mtc1918jac@gmail.com or write to: Michael Trebert Chapter DAR, PO Box 1917, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

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