HUTCHINSON, KS — A female horseback riding team delivered bags of new Kansas commemorative quarter–dollar coins to United States Mint Acting Director David A. Lebryk and Governor Kathleen Sebelius at the opening ceremony of the Kansas State Fair, officially launching the “Buffalo and Sunflowers” quarter. A real American bison stood not far from the crowd, a reminder that Kansas is the first state to use the image of a buffalo (the state animal) on its quarter. The Kansas quarter, the 34th in the United States Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program, also features three sunflowers (the state flower).
“The new quarter is a wonderful representation of the beauty and history of the great plains of Kansas,” said Acting Director Lebryk. “The buffalo honors the early days of Kansas statehood, when millions of buffalo roamed the Kansas prairie. Sunflowers, first cultivated by Native Americans over 3,000 years ago, continue to light up Kansas fields and roadsides every September.”
Television personality Bill Kurtis emceed the launch ceremony and read a poem written for the event by Kansas poet laureate Jonathan Holden. Professional and school groups sang, and Dennis Rogers of Topeka, a member of the Navajo Nation, told a story and danced. Wild Women of the Frontier demonstrated their horseback riding skills. Acting Director Lebryk and Governor Sebelius then handed out shiny, new Kansas quarters to the children in attendance, and adults exchanged their bills for $10 rolls of Kansas quarters.
Governor Sebelius declared September 9th “Kansas Quarter Day in the Classroom.” Lesson plans about the Kansas quarter, the 50 State Quarters Program, and the Westward Journey Nickel Series™, may be downloaded free from the United States Mint H.I.P. Pocket Change™ website at http://www.usmint.gov/kids. Teachers, parents and students can also explore the many other teaching aids, and the games, puzzles and stories for kids, that show how coins are “history in your pocket.”
The Kansas quarter is available in two–roll sets (40 coins per roll), including one roll each from the United States Mint at Philadelphia and Denver, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins, at the United States Mint website at www.usmint.gov. The two–roll sets are $32.00, bags of 100 coins are $35.50, and bags of 1,000 coins are $300.00.