January 2022 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

We the People National Finals Being Held Online, Roundup of Recent Competitions, State Coordinators Contribute to Book on First Amendment, and More in This Month's Newsletter.

We the People National Finals to Be Held Online This Year

We the People National Finals

We are all very excited that the Center for Civic Education's We the People National Finals and the National Invitational are right around the corner! Both competitions will be held remotely, via Zoom, with the National Finals taking place on April 22-26 and the National Invitational being held April 29-May 2. While the challenges presented by the current pandemic prevent an in-person event, we are looking forward to celebrating the 35th year of the National Finals and the ninth year of the National Invitational, and we eagerly anticipate more in-person events in the near future!

National Finals

Civics Summit

Save the Date! Civics Summit April 22

The Center for Civic Education will be hosting a Civics Summit on Friday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The event will kick off the 35th Annual We the People National Finals and will feature Center President Christopher R. Riano in conversation with other thought leaders in the field, who will discuss the present and future of civic education. Registration details will be announced shortly before the National Finals, so please save the date! You can view the video from last year's Civics Summit here.

14th Amendment

Join Christopher Riano and Jeffrey Rosen for a Conversation on the 14th Amendment

In this Fun Friday Session from the National Constitution Center, Christopher R. Riano, president of the Center for Civic Education, joins National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen for a conversation on the 14th Amendment and the battle over its meaning from Reconstruction to the Supreme Court's landmark decision on marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges. Riano explores this topic in his book Marriage Equality: From Outlaws to In-Laws, co-authored with professor William N. Eskridge, Jr., which tells the definitive story of the marriage equality movement from 1967 to 2015. He will also discuss his work at the Center for Civic Education, as well as answer questions from participants.


State Competitions

Roundup of We the People State Competitions

State We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution competitions are taking place across the country in both virtual and in-person settings. Click on the link below for a roundup of the recent competition results from December and January.

Learn More


Donna Phillips to Present Crosswalk at Upcoming Professional Development Event

Donna Phillips will present the Center for Civic Education's We the $char_endash for American Democracy crosswalk during an iCivics professional development session on Tuesday, January 25, at 7:00 p.m. ET. Phillips will focus on how We the People pedagogy supports student civic participation, which is Theme 1 of the EAD. In addition, Phillips will explain how the We the People curriculum provides deep constitutional knowledge.

The event will also explore how to facilitate student learning to engage and prepare youth as civic participants in American constitutional democracy through such concepts as civic friendship and civil disagreement, while making connections between the past and present.


Learn more

At the Schoolhouse Gate: Stakeholder Perceptions of First Amendment Rights and Responsibilities in U.S. Public Schools

As political polarization increases across the nation, we are watching schools become First Amendment battlegrounds. To shed light on the confusion and debate is a new publication, At the Schoolhouse Gate: Stakeholder Perceptions of First Amendment Rights and Responsibilities in U.S. Public Schools.

Lending their expertise to the book are two of the Center for Civic Education's state coordinators. Ryan Suskey authors the chapter, "A More Complicated Story: Student Free Expression Rights in Public Education." Donna Phillips authors the chapter, "They Speak for Themselves: Students Name the Phenomenon of Civic Education and Freedom of Speech," which follows her research on the impact of the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program on student voice and agency.

We highly recommend giving the entire book a read!

Learn more

Quick Quiz! The Stamp Act taxed printed materials in the American colonies, including all but which of the following?

A. Playing cards
B. Newspapers
C. Prayer books
D. Warrants

Read on to learn the answer!

State Courts Civics Essay Contest

National Center for State Courts Civics Essay Contest

The National Center for State Courts is offering students the opportunity to win a scholarship by expressing their opinion about which U.S. constitutional amendment they believe has made the biggest impact in Americans' lives. Third through eighth graders should submit essays of 100 or fewer words. Ninth through 12th graders should submit essays in 250 or fewer words. NCSC will give a total of $3,000 in cash prizes to the winners.

The deadline for entries is February 25.

Learn more

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship

Applications Open for Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship Summer Institute

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship Summer Institute is now accepting applications from students ages 16 to 18 for the program offered June 25 to July 23. The institute takes place on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. The program is conducted in partnership with the Purdue University Department of Political Science, the Brian Lamb School of Communication, the James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, and the Center for Civic Education.

The 10 U.S. Fellows will join 45 BFTF Fellows from Europe to take classes in International Diplomacy, Media and Journalism, Global Problems, Democracy, and Civic Education. Fellows will meet with US diplomats and politicians, prominent scholars, and journalists throughout the Institute. They will also participate in debates, practical workshops, and seminars while learning how to organize and participate in community service activities.

Successful U.S. applicants will receive a scholarship that will cover all expenses related to the Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship.

Apply Here

Survey on Mission US History Games for the Classroom

RAND and Common Sense Seek Middle Schools for Digital Citizenship Study

Attention public school educators: RAND and Common Sense are looking for middle schools interested in participating in research about digital citizenship! Researchers are recruiting U.S. schools teaching sixth grade students to deliver six lessons from the curriculum over six to eight weeks in fall 2022. The study will help researchers understand how to implement the curriculum in schools, what barriers educators face, and how the curriculum influences the development of students' digital citizenship knowledge, attitudes, and behavior.

Schools will receive an individual consultation on an implementation plan and data about the impact of digital citizenship lessons while also contributing to a body of knowledge that benefits students and supports their digital lives.

Learn More

Quiz Answer!

C. Prayer books (see episode 4516)

For more quizzes and learning opportunities, check out the 60-Second Civics podcast and daily civics quiz!


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