Hundreds of school children waited patiently under a sunny sky on the west side of the state capitol today as the new Iowa quarter was officially unveiled. It was a grand ceremony with an Army band, and the director of the U.S. Mint joining with Governor Tom Vilsack to place a cardboard replica of the new quarter on a map of the U.S. to symbolize its first day of circulation. He said,” it’s a wonderful, glorious, sunny shining day in our state. And if you think about our quarter, it’s a shinning example of who we are, what we believe, and what we can become.” First Lady Christie Vilsack, a former teacher, spoke about the significance of theme of the quarter — that features a Grant Wood painting of a one room schoolhouse under the words “Foundation in Education.” She says many other state quarters have featured historic landmarks, symbols of musical or cultural contributions unique to that state or people of significance from the state. But she says no other state has utilized their state quarter to make such a strong statement about education. Some have criticized the quarter for not doing enough to portray Iowa’s ag heritage. Governor Vilsack was asked about that criticism. He says the great thing about the quarter design is that it combines “what we grow and what we know” as it depicts agriculture in the background. He says it’s also a commitment to the environment as it features students and a teacher planting a tree. The kids on hand sat patiently in the sun for nearly an hour for the event — and their patience was rewarded at the end as the Governor and other dignitaries such as Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson gave each one a shiny new Iowa quarter. Those interviewed by Radio Iowa called the new quarter “neat” and “great.”You’ll soon see the Iowa quarter showing up in your change, or you can by a commemorative quarter set at Iowaquarter.com.
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