Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Patriot Week Activities: American House Refresher Courses on American History

[Originally published in the Oakland Press, but the link failed here]

The American House Senior Living Communities has announced it will offer free American history classes at various locations throughout the state.

The initiative was started by Bob Gillette, founder of American House.

Gillette approached three teachers from the metro area to teach the classes at 12 different locations, including Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy, West Bloomfield Township, Roseville and Sterling Heights.

“We believe we all need a refresher course on our nation’s history so we can truly understand the founding principles of America and put the true meaning back into national holidays such as Independence Day,” Gillette said.

The classes focus on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and its signing. These sessions will culminate in September during Patriot Week, Sept. 11-17.

Patriot Week was founded by Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren with the goal of renewing America’s spirit. American House is a member of the Patriot Week organizing committee.

“The teachers have been overwhelmed with enthusiasm,” Gillette said, boasting that the classes have been a phenomenal success.

“Topics will change over time,” said Jennifer Cherry, the public relations employee for American House. Cherry said there’s discussion of expansion of other classes and areas in Michigan.

Attendees are encouraged to call their local American House to put their name on the list for a class, but they also have the option of simply showing up before it begins.

A special asset to the classes is a painting that Gillette recently commissioned from artist d.hummel-marconi — a painting exclusive to American House. The painting, “In God We Trust,” features 20 of the founding fathers of America.

The painting was designed to engage students in the classroom. A corresponding guide identifies the 20 figures and will be used as a teaching tool in the American House history classes.

“This painting, combined with our American history classes, really symbolizes what American House stands for and what we believe in,” said Gillette. “This will be an invaluable tool for our teachers to visually show our country’s founding fathers.”

The history classes at American House are open to all ages.

“We at American House are very passionate about patriotism and the need for all citizens, young and old, to be educated or have a refresher course on American history,” Gillette said.


For a schedule of classes, visit

resources. The list will be continually updated throughout the summer. Visit www.patriotweek.orgfor more information on Patriot Week.

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