This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Led by teacher and Notebook blogger Samuel Reed, 6th graders at Beeber Middle School fused civic studies and artistic expression in the "Let Freedom Ring" program sponsored by the Philadelphia Arts and Education Partnership (PAEP) and National Liberty Museum. Reed’s class worked together to design and create their own interpretation of the Liberty Bell, which was voted the "Best Concept" Liberty Bell.
The project provided enriching lessons in liberty, democracy, and collaboration. "Collaboration is at the heart of democratic practices," Reed noted in his blog post on the project. Reed said he and his students both benefited from the project. "My students and I are learning that classroom democracies evolve over time," he wrote. "Our burgeoning classroom democracy may be a bit messy, but I think the founding fathers would say the same of America’s fledgling democracy."
The bells representing Kenderton, Lingelbach, Sharswood, Hunter, and Beeber will be on display at the National Constitution Center and National Liberty Museum for the duration of summer 2010.