Presidents' Day | JOY for Today

(Updated 1/26/2024)

Presidents' Day began as a day to honor George Washington but now is commonly extended to all presidents. While celebrating presidents may not sound JOYful to you, consider where we'd be without someone to govern our country, to fight for our freedoms. On a personal level, spend time today thinking about who you lead, the JOY you find in it, and how you can grow to be better at it.

President George Washington and an American flag set against a cloudy background. Text overlay quotes Matthew 20:26.

Presidential Listings

UPCOMING HOLIDAYS:

Did You Know:

  1. Joe Biden is our 46th President? Head to WhiteHouse.gov to see a picture and read a biography of each of our 46 presidents.
  2. Presidents' Day started after George Washington's death? Of course, then (1880), it was an annual day of remembrance of George Washington on his birthday (February 22nd). But eventually it expanded to include all presidents.
  3. The top three most popular presidents are Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and John F. Kennedy in that order? Find where your favorite ranks at YouGovAmerica.
  4. More Republican than Democrat presidents have held office? According to United States Now, as of 2013 the count was 18 Republicans to 14 Democrats. Accounting for the last two presidents, the count is now 19 Republicans and 15 Democrats.
  5. The oldest president to serve is Joe Biden and the youngest was Theodore Roosevelt? Find out more about the age of presidents when they were sworn in, and the impact age had on their presidency at Stacker.
We'd Love to Know:
Which president you would name as your favorite?

Wolfe Stew Connects

Currently, we're teaching the American Revolution to fifth graders. In the process, we've learned so much about what the founders of our country desired and the hard choices they negotiated for the future of our country. There is this saying about growing trees so that our children can enjoy their shade, and that's what our founders did: they strived to build a nation that would remain free. Because of their diligence we enjoy that freedom today.

If you are ready to RISE to freedom, join us in our GROWTH for Today calendar with daily tasks to help you RISE toward personal change. It is a struggle, encouragement helps, and it starts when you RISE. Know we're learning to RISE right along with you.

We'd Love to Know:

What does Presidents' Day mean to you?


Bible Verses and Quotes to Inspire

Bible Verses

  • "In whatever you do, don't let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves." Philippians 2:3 ERV
  • "But in addition, you should choose some capable men and appoint them as leaders of the people: leaders of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. They must be God-fearing men who can be trusted and who cannot be bribed." Exodus 18:21 GNT
  • "If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others." Matthew 20:26 CEV
  • "Don't just pretend that you love others: really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. Love each other with brotherly affection and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and prayerful always. When God's children are in need, you be the one to help them out." Romans 12:9-13 TLB
  • "Don't shepherd by ruling over those entrusted to your care, but become examples to the flock." I Peter 5:3 CEB

Quotes

  • "The object of love is to serve, not to win." - Woodrow Wilson
  • "Heroes may not be braver than anyone else. They're just braver five minutes longer." - Ronald Reagan
  • "To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do." - John Adams
  • "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams
  • "If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month." - Theodore Roosevelt
Read a quote from each president at Psychology Today.

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote you would put on your vision board.

Activity Suggestions

Focus on leadership this Presidents' Day by having your learners complete one of the following:

  • Sort and clean coins (PreK-2) with Evan Moor. After the activity, discuss why these presidents' faces are on our coins and why each is an important leader. Use these biographies from Ducksters.com as a reference.
  • If I were President... (PreK-2) with Kindergarten Smiles
    • First, watch "What if YOU were Kid President?" (shorter) or this Oxford Education (longer, but fun answers).
    • Then, discuss how to finish the statement: "If I were president...." 
    • Write your answer (on a printed and cut out speech bubble, if desired).
    • Make a self portrait with cut-out construction paper.
    • Add your statement to your self portrait.
  • Read a fun book (3rd-5th). Try the My Weird School special: We're Red, Weird, and Blue! What Can We Do? by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Jim Paillot. This book had me laughing from the first page and planning educational tie-ins from the second. Here are a few:
    1. What month is the worst? List four reasons why.
    2. Benjamin Franklin never was president. Name another well-known historical person who also was never president. Give three facts that might mislead someone into believing they had served as president.
    3. Research to find and list weird facts about a president. 
    4. Who was the better president: George Washington or Abraham Lincoln? Write an opinion paragraph to explain your reasons.
  • Research presidents (3rd-5th).
  • Learn about leadership (3rd-5th).
  • President flow chart (3rd-5th). Make a timeline of each president that features a quote or positive change they made for our country. 

Would You Rather...

  • Be president today or when America was founded?
  • Run a country or a school?
  • Visit the presidential residence in the White House or the presidential retreat at Camp David?
If you would like three "Would You Rather...?" questions for every February day, download this Wolfe Stew PowerPoint or get it (for free!) at our TPT store.

Family Challenge

Discuss qualities of a good leader. List positive qualities of the current president. For every negative quality mentioned, discuss how you can pray for the president to grow in that area. Close in prayer for our leaders, as we are asked to do: "I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity." I Timothy 2:1-2 NLT.

We'd Love to Know: 

How you honor Presidents' Day with your classroom or family.

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow.

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.

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