September 2014 Newsletter Print E-mail

Be Prepared for Constitution Day


Constitution Day September 17th, 2014

The purpose of "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" is to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens, while commemorating the creation and signing of the supreme law of our land. Public Law 108-477 requires all schools that receive federal funds to hold an educational program for their students on September 17 of each year. Each year the Center provides a significant array of free elementary, middle, and high school lessons from its We the People, Foundations of Democracy and other curricula. Constitution Day Across America is a series of free downloadable lessons (K-12) developed by the Center to assist teachers in fulfilling that requirement. Learn more.


Try We the People for Free

Looking for an engaging, classroom-proven civics and government curriculum for your high school classroom? Try the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution enhanced ebook for free for 28 days. We the People's features include classroom management tools, audio narration, videos, and built-in multiple-choice and essay questions. The ebook can be used on a wide range of devices, including desktops and laptops, Apple iPads and iPhones, Android tablets and smart phones, and Windows 8 touch-screen devices. Learn more.


National Academy for Civics and Government

The Center is happy to announce that we received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct an Institute on "Political and Constitutional Theory for Citizens: The National Academy for Civics and Government." The intensive three-week institute will be held in Los Angeles from July 11-August 1. 2015. Once again, Professor Will Harris will serve as the principal faculty member for the National Academy. Learn more.

Civics Renewal Network

The Center has been a member of the Civics Renewal Network (CRN) for more than a year. The Network is an alliance of 26 nonprofit, non partisan organizations that provide free online classroom resources for civic education. Sharing the belief that understanding the Constitution plays a vital role in creating knowledgeable and engaged citizens, the Network seeks to raise the visibility of civic education and to make high-quality resources more accessible to teachers through a one-stop website. The website will fully launch this September 17th in conjunction with a gathering of the organizations and Teacher/Student teams from all across the country. Ten of the fifty states will be represented by the Center's Project Citizen teams. Please encourage teachers to participate in this year's inaugural activities on Constitution Day by visiting the website and taking the Preamble Challenge. Learn more.

ACETA Teachers Visit Nation's Capital

The 2013 American Civic Education Teacher Awards winners, Doug Oswald from Ocala, Florida and Dave Alcox from Milford, New Hampshire visited Washington, D.C. for several days recently where they met with their members of Congress and the Historian of the U.S. House of Representatives. Oswald and Alcox also received a special tour of the U.S. Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and the National Archives. They gained valuable information on teaching with primary sources from meetings at the Library of Congress and National Archives. The annual ACETA awards are sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, the Center on Congress, and the National Education Association. Learn more.

We the People Teacher Honored

Gahanna, Ohio Middle School South teacher Mike Browning received the American Lawyers Alliance 2014 National Middle School Law-Related Teacher of the Year Award at its annual meeting in August in Boston. Browning has taught social studies for more than 25 years at both the middle and high school levels, and currently teaches eighth grade American History. Since 2008, Browning has implemented the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum in his classroom. "Mike is an example of what a teacher should be. He engages his students in rigorous, academic activities that teach the content in an enjoyable fashion," said nominator Lisa Eschleman. Learn more.

North African Youth Promote Policy Reforms

In the Engaging Civil Society and Youth in Public Policy Dialogue program, young adults from Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia—including unemployed college graduates—are addressing critical local issues through public policy. Using the Project Citizen civic education curriculum, Civitas International Programs partners have trained youth to develop and advocate for policy-based solutions to issues such as unemployment, school dropouts, violence, and agricultural concerns. Learn more.

Center Hosts International Visitors

In recent days the Center has hosted a famous Chinese children's literature author, two leaders of Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society, and two International Visitor Leadership Program delegations sponsored by the U.S. Department of State for exchange and discussion on civic education programs and materials. The Center hosted Mr. Zheng Yuanjie, the notable Chinese fairy tale author. The Center also hosted Mariam Memarsadeghi and Akbar Atri of the E-Collaborative for Civic Education, a political science professor from Equatorial Guinea, and three Polish civil society leaders conducting democracy education and training programs in Eastern Europe.

International Conference on Democratic Citizenship

Registration is open for the 2nd Annual International Conference on Democratic Citizenship, organized by the Moroccan Center for Civic Education, the Center's Civitas International Programs partner in Morocco. The event will be held on February 4-8, 2015 with a theme of The Role of Youth in Promoting Global Citizenship Education: Challenges and Opportunities. 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.