Every morning, our students recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the Idaho State Pledge, the School Creed, and their individual class creeds. The School Creed is aspirational and embodies a positive attitude of promise that we hope to instill in our students.
I am an American Heritage Charter School Patriot. I am unique and intelligent. I am respectful, honest, and kind. I have high hopes for my future and great expectations for myself. I promise to be the best I can be using the life principles of our country's great heroes to guide me. I promise to enrich the world by serving others. I am a Patriot—strong, proud, and brave. I am a leader today and tomorrow.
WHY AMERICAN HERITAGE CHARTER SCHOOL
What is AHCS all about? The mission of AHCS is to create patriotic and educated leaders. It drives our strategic planning, curriculum design, programming, and operational decisions. Our mission, however, goes well beyond what we do inside the classroom. Our mission is our country's future.
The Founders of AHCS believe that our happiness and our children's happiness is indelibly tied to freedom, memorialized in our Constitution, and protected by a strong and free country. Public schools have succeeded in many things, but too many times they fail to teach about what has made America such a strong and free country. They miss the mark on instilling character, work ethic, and common courtesy. The future leaders of this country can't simply be well educated -- they must also know our history and value American ideals.
The future leaders of our County must love and cherish what our Country stands for, or else they will never be willing to stand up and defend it. They won't have the fortitude to do what prior generations of Americans have done: fight for change, resist oppression when it comes, and defend and liberate the oppressed. If they don't love our country, they will never be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to honor, defend, and preserve it.
We must love our country enough to stand-up to and challenge our Government to live up to our shared ideals. Our Government is not perfect, and we should regularly debate its virtues and maintain a healthy skepticism of its actions. Yet, we cannot forget that our Nation is built on a common heritage and commitment to principles that allow us to change and improve. Those principles allowed us to grow from a disparate confederation of 13 colonies, to a unified nation of 50 sovereign states. They led us to shed the burdens of slavery and begin to overcome generations of racial and gender inequality. People like Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony, and Martin Luther King Jr. fought for change, not because they hated their country, but precisely because they loved it, and they loved their fellow countrymen.
Helping our children to love and understand the American Experience is central to the mission of AHCS. The ideals of justice, individual liberty, religious freedom, a free press, the right to bear arms, and freedom from unreasonable government intrusion should not just be words read in our Constitution. These words should be branded in our hearts and minds.
How can we love our country and not love our countrymen; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they're sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory?
-Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address (Jan. 20, 1981)
Our Government was instituted to protect and preserve these inalienable rights, but it cannot give us the American Dream. Being an American is about rugged individualism and free enterprise. It is about self-less service and sacrifice. In America, anyone with drive, determination, and work ethic can lift themselves up and improve the quality of their life. That is the American Dream and it is available to those who earnestly seek it. That is why AHCS strives to help our children become fiercely independent and self-reliant. When we face problems, our young people need to remember that they aren't dependent on the Government for salvation. Relying on government favors and handouts leads to dependency and bondage. It is too often, too tempting to simply fight for our "fair share" from the Government, especially when we feel the pinch of paying more than our "fair share" of taxes. Yet, true happiness and self-esteem comes from the joy of self-actualization, self-reliance, and freedom from the bondage of debt or government dependencies.
So, what is AHCS all about?
A bright future for our children and our country.