Gahanna's American Legion Post 797 is seeking donations from the community to purchase comic books that promote Americanism and patriotism.

Gahanna's American Legion Post 797 is seeking donations from the community to purchase comic books that promote Americanism and patriotism.

Adjutant Harvey Jones said monetary donations are being sought for back packs and supplies the group intends to have purchased by mid-August for grade-school children in Gahanna.

"We're trying to get outside people to donate $5 apiece," he said. "We rely on donations from our members and people outside our Legion. Any donations would be appreciated."

Inside the back packs to be distributed to elementary children will be comic books that encourage Americanism, patriotism and love of country.

"The kids in school aren't learning what America stands for any more," Jones said. "They're taking the flags out of the classrooms, and they can't say a prayer at the beginning of the day. We feel that's part of America. We want them to love their county. We don't want them growing up thinking no one cares."

Jones said he has seen a decline in what is taught in the schools about history and America, and Post 797 aims to re-institute interest among children by providing the books.

"These young kids like to read comic books, and we're trying to get enough money to put them in a back pack," Jones said. "We want kids to know what our country stands for."

During the recent Independence Day parade, he said, several kids were asked if they knew why people stood when the flag passed, and they didn't know.

"We've donated flags and given classes about folding the flag, but we can't get to all the schools," Jones said. "We're trying to get the word out."

Post 797 Commander Malcolm Glasgow said this marks the first year the Legion has begun distributing back packs with the books as part of the American Legion's Americanism program.

"We're hoping this is a successful program," he said. "If it's successful, we will continue in the future. With these economic times, you never know about some of these things."

Anyone wanting to contribute to the Legion's efforts should call Jones at (614) 887-8178 or by visiting www.al797.org and clicking on the "Donate" option at the bottom of the page.