ALBANY – On Saturday, March 13, students from seven New York high schools will compete in simulated congressional hearings as the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program concludes its year long instruction aimed at enhancing student understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy.
New York students have been learning about their rights as American citizens by participating in the We the People national project since the first days of the school year. In New York, the program is co-sponsored by the Law Youth and Citizenship program of the New York State Bar Association and The Center for Civic Education, Calabasas, Calif.
The seven regional finalists for the 2003-04 academic year are:
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Senior High School, Burnt Hills;
Clara Barton High School, Brooklyn;
Clarkstown Senior High School South, West Nyack;
Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn;
Half Hollow Hills East High School, Dix Hills;
James Madison High School, Brooklyn; and
Stuyvesant High School, New York City.
The panel of judges will test the knowledge and expertise of the teams on historical aspects and modern day application of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Such topics as the historical and philosophical ideas underlying the Constitution, the development and expansion of the Bill of Rights, and the role of citizens in a constitutional democracy will be examined.
Judges for the competition, which will be held at the Bulmer Telecommunications Center on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, include educators, lawyers, representatives of civil liberties advocacy groups and state government, and members of the community at-large.
State winners will participate in the national finals May 1-3 in Washington, D.C.
We the People is the most extensive program in the country designed to promote civil competence and responsibility by teaching young people about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the principles and values they embody. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education and an act of Congress, the program is administered by the Center for Civic Education. Since its inception in 1987, more than 26 million students and 82,000 educators have participated in the We the People program. Members of Congress also actively participate in We the People.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993