Contact: Jon A. Sullivan 
Manager, Media Services & Public Affairs
jsullivan@nysba.org
518/487-5532

June 5, 2007

STATE BAR ASSOCIATION SPONSORS PROGRAM TO EDUCATE MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS ON CIVIC PARTICIPATION

Future Leaders Present Comprehensive Public Policy Projects

 The New York State Bar Association's Law, Youth & Citizenship Program will sponsor the We the People: Project Citizen Program Showcase, a judged exhibit of the best public policy projects completed by middle school students and youth organizations in New York State, on Friday, June 8, at the Empire Plaza North Concourse (across from Key Bank) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The program promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government.

 "These teams may be comprised of young people but their ideas are very mature. Every year their projects impress the public, dazzle elected officials and astound even the most seasoned lawyers, who serve as the judges," New York State Bar Association Director of the Law, Youth & Citizenship Program, Eileen Devine Gerrish, said. "The hours of work, the creativity and civic pride, always on display at the Project Citizen Showcase, is a comforting illustration that the future of New York State is in very safe hands."

 The Project Citizen program is administered through a national network of state and congressional district coordinators and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Teams taking part in the Showcase will work cooperatively to identify and research a public policy problem in their community, evaluate solutions, and create a political action plan designed to enlist authorities to adopt their proposals. Thirty local attorneys, all members of the New York State Bar Association, have volunteered to evaluate the projects, with the winning portfolio going to the National Project Citizen Showcase as part of the National Conference of State Legislatures to be held in Boston later this summer.

 The Project Citizen Program was introduced in 1995 and has been part of the curriculum for more than 1.4 million students nationwide. The program has now been expanded to include the high school and post-secondary level. Additional information about the Project Citizen Program is available on the internet at www.lycny.org.

The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association, founded in 1876, is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.


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List of participants

• Forest Elementary- PS71, Ridgewood, NY (Queens), 2 projects

• PS 122, Astoria (Queens) 5th and 8th grades, 6 projects

• Townsend Harris High School, Flushing, NY (Queens), 2 projects

• PS 98, Bay Academy for the Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn, NY, 2 projects