May 2015 Newsletter Print E-mail

We the People National Finals and National Invitationals held, a new We the People textbook coming soon, the U.S. Senate passes a resolution supporting civic education, and more in this month's issue.


oregon class

Grant High School Places First in We the People National Finals

Grant High School of Portland, Oregon, placed first at the 28th Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals, held April 24-27 at George Mason University and on Capitol Hill. Fifty-six classes from 43 states competed for the coveted national title. Learn more.

Third Annual We the People National Invitational Held at George Mason University

Young constitutional scholars from seven middle schools and one high school participated in the Third Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Invitational, held April 17-21 at George Mason University in Virginia. After three intense and inspiring days of competition, Rachel Carson Middle School of Herndon, Virginia, placed first in the middle school competition, Brown County Junior High School of Nashville, Indiana, finished second, and Inza R. Wood Middle School of Wilsonville, Oregon, was third. Unit 1 from Wauwatosa East High School of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, won the High School Unit Award. Learn more.


Senate Resolution Supports Civic Education

The U.S. Senate recently passed Senate Resolution 150 by unanimous consent. The resolution expresses the sense of the Senate about the importance of effective civic and government education programs in schools in the United States. It was sponsored by U.S. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. The resolution coincided with the Center's We the People National Finals, one of the most prominent civic education events in the United States. Read the resolution.

showcase

Project Citizen National Showcase

The Center is pleased to announce the 2015 Project Citizen National Showcase will be held July 30 and 31 at the Calabasas Library in California. State Submission Guidelines can be found here. This year, we're expanding the event beyond the middle school level to welcome one exemplary high school portfolio from each state that hosts Project Citizen Level 2 classes at their state-level evaluations. For more information, contact Erin Smith.

Study Shows Positive Impact of We the People

Professor Diana Owen and a team of researchers from Georgetown University are conducting a study on the effects of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution on students. In this paper, Owen explains her findings, which show that We the People has a statistically significant positive effect on student learning when compared with students in other civics classes. Learn more.

Anne Arundel County Schools Adopt We the People

Maryland's Anne Arundel County Public School District has adopted the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 1 textbook for use in classrooms in the county over the next six years. The county has approximately eighty elementary schools and includes Annapolis, the state capital that briefly served as the capital of the United States after the Treaty of Paris. The We the People Level 1 textbook has been used by elementary schools throughout the United States since 1988.

Apply by May 15 for the American Civic Education Teacher Awards

The Center is accepting applications until May 15 for the 2015 American Civic Education Teacher Awards. Each year the ACETA program selects and showcases three teachers who have done exemplary work in preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. Apply today to be considered for this prestigious honor. Learn more.

Project Citizen Teacher Explains Benefits of Program

Heather Tomchek, a teacher in the New Holstein School District in Wisconsin, is excited about the impact Project Citizen has had on her students. She said that "Project Citizen should be taught in every school around the nation. It could be used to keep our schools strong and our nation functioning." She noted that Project Citizen provides 21st-century skills and supports the English-Language Arts Common Core State Standards and the College, Career and the Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies. Learn more.

Young Pakistani Leaders Trained in Rights Education

The Centre for Civic Education Pakistan, the Center's Civitas International Programs partner in Pakistan, organized its fifth annual diploma course on fundamental rights. Twenty-one civil-society leaders from various areas of Pakistan completed the course on May 4. Through the use of interactive methodologies, the course prepared young leaders to advocate rights and educate their communities.

Center Hosts Ukrainian Civic Educators

Mark Molli, the Center's associate director, hosted a group of civic education leaders and teachers from Ukraine on March 16. The delegation, organized by the World Trade Center Institute in Maryland, visited the United States to learn about best practices in promoting citizenship and civic education in schools.

Democracy and the Role of the Citizen

Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society conducted an online course titled Democracy and the Role of the Citizen with new content developed by the Center for Civic Education. The eight-session course explored citizens' rights and responsibilities in a democratic system of governance. Learn more.

Moroccan Center for Civic Education and Partners Launch Violence Prevention Project

The Center's Civitas International Programs partner in Morocco, the Moroccan Center for Civic Education, launched a new project to prevent violence through school-based civic education. The program will involve partners in Tunisia and Egypt and is supported by Ideaborn, the Union for the Mediterranean, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Learn more.

60-Second Civics Featured in Academic Paper

60-Second Civics, the Center's daily podcast and quiz, was featured in "Promoting Civic Education in Teacher Preparation Programs," a paper by Maggie Beddow, Frances L. Kidwell, and Frances Chadwick on the California Council for the Social Studies website. The authors describe 60-Second Civics as "a quick and easy way to teach a civics topic that can be elaborated upon, depending on the focus of the class." Learn more.

Webinar Connects Students with Former Members of Congress

Congress to Campus: Webinar connects former members of Congress with students by a bipartisan panel discussion to provide an insider's look at Congress. Topics include becoming a member of Congress, members' challenges and triumphs, and how Republicans and Democrats may have a different opinions but can be civil and respectful. The webinar will provide an opportunity for students to ask questions directly to the former members of Congress. Learn more.

This newsletter is a brief bulletin designed to keep you informed about some of the Center for Civic Education's news and events. Information presented includes news from around the country, news from other countries in the Center's Civitas International network, grant and award opportunities, and program updates and clarifications. If you have pertinent material that you would like to include in future newsletters, please contact Erin Smith or John Hale.