September 2015 Newsletter

New lessons available for Constitution Day, a new high school We the People textbook has been published, We the People webinars with Gordon Lloyd, and more in this month's newsletter.

Constitution Day

New Lessons Available for Constitution Day

New lessons for grades 4-5 and 9-12 are available for Constitution Day and Citizenship Week on the Center's website. The upper elementary level lesson, "What Should the Representative Do?," deals with the legislative process and how lawmakers can communicate with their constituents. Learn more.

Updated We the People High School Textbook Enriches Study of the Constitution

Just in time for the new school year, the Center has released an updated fourth edition of its flagship civics and government textbook, We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution. Learn more.

Constitutional Literacy: We the People Educational Program Fulfills the Founders' Aspirations by Charles N. Quigley

In order for us to preserve our system of ordered liberty, American society must rely on the knowledge, skills, and virtue of its citizens and those we elect to public office. That is what prompted Thomas Jefferson to proclaim, "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." Read the full article at the Washington Times.


Project Citizen National Showcase Results Are In!

Seventeen classes from around the country participated in the Project Citizen National Showcase, held on July 31 at the Calabasas Library, in Calabasas, California. The students tackled a wide range of public policy issues in their communities. Twelve portfolios were submitted in the traditional four-panel format. Five classes chose to submit their portfolios electronically. To view the rankings of the individual schools please visit the Project Citizen website. Learn more.

New Jersey Students Address Problem of Park Safety

Joe Refinski's Project Citizen students at the Rutgers-Newark Upward Bound Program were concerned about the safety of the parks in their community of East Orange, New Jersey. This summer, they presented their proposed solutions to a number of evaluators and public officials, including East Orange Mayor Lester E. Taylor III. Learn more.

National Academy Empowers Civics Teachers

"WONDERFUL. Seriously the best academic experience I have ever had. I feel so empowered as a teacher, a professional, and a theorist. I feel invigorated as I return to the school year." These are the words of a participant at the Center's National Academy for Civics and Government, which was conducted at Occidental College July 11-August 1 under the scholarly direction of Professor Will Harris of the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more.

We the People by Judge Leonard Padilla

"What procedural due process rights should be granted to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay?" Usually, as a workers' compensation judge, I'm not called upon to ponder such issues; my mind tends to focus on impairment ratings, modifiers, and disability. Today, however, I'm sitting in a large lecture hall at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, thinking of follow-up questions to ask a panel of "experts" who just finished a rapid fire opening statement of their view on constitutional law, specifically the Bill of Rights. Learn more.

We the People Saved My Life

"I thank We the People Program for saving my life and finding friendships," said Ryan Crosby, a student on the Mojave High School We the People team. Learn more.

American Civic Education Teacher Awards: 2015 Winners

Teachers from California, Idaho, and Indiana are recipients of the 2015 American Civic Education Teacher Awards (ACETA), recognizing their exemplary work preparing young people to become informed and engaged citizens. The ACETA winners are Jill R. Baisinger of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, Jose Flores of Brawley Union High School in Brawley, California, and Holly Kartchner of Blackfoot High School in Blackfoot, Idaho. Learn more.

American Lawyers Alliance Announces Teacher of the Year Award

Three law-related education teachers received the American Lawyers Alliance Teacher of the Year Award: Robert Priest of Van Wert High School in Van Wert, Ohio, Jill Baisinger of Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Robert Ames of Oyster-Adams Bilingual School in Washington, D.C., who was the middle school winner. Learn more.

We the People Teacher Wins John J. Ross Memorial Award

Norma Jean Higuera Trask from Challenger Middle School in Tucson, Arizona, received the John J. Ross Memorial Award recently. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, which sponsors the award, cited Trask's participation in the annual We the People competitions and the We the People National Invitational, as well as her participation as a mentor in the We the People Summer Institute. Referring to We the People, Higuera Trask said, "Never has there been such a worthwhile civics curriculum laced with both purpose and the ability to transform students, across grade levels, into thoughtful, articulate and well informed citizens. This program has changed my life and filled the ever present need of mine to help change the world for the better."

We the People Elementary Text Available through NIMAC

The Center's elementary-level We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution textbook is now available through the National Instructional Materials Access Center. NIMAC is a federally funded organization that makes print instructional materials easily accessible to qualifying blind, visually-impaired, or print-disabled students in specialized formats, such as braille, audio, or digital text. 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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