October 13, 2010


ALBANY-Teaching Native American history and embracing technology in the classroom will be the focus of the New York State Bar Association Law, Youth & Citizenship Program's (LYC) 34th Annual Civics and Law-Related Education Conference taking place in Western New York at the Beaver Hollow Conference Center in Wyoming County, New York from October 13-15, 2010. Titled "Iroquois to Internet: An Examination of the 21st Century New York Classroom," this professional development opportunity is designed for academics and legal professionals.

"Civic education is key to helping students understand their rights and responsibilities as American citizens," said State Bar President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "The State Bar is committed to ensuring that New York State remains at the forefront in thoughtful and progressive education that teaches the value of democratic participation and helps to create our next generation of civic leaders. This year's program on Native American culture and the importance of state-of-the-art technology in teaching demonstrates the breadth of information that educators need to provide a well-rounded civics education. LYC chair James Hanlon and the committee have put together an excellent and valuable conference."

State Bar Association President-elect Vincent E. Doyle III of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo LLP) will provide welcoming remarks. Storyteller Perry Ground, a Turtle Clan member of the Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (Iroquois), will be the featured dinner speaker on Thursday, October 14, where he will discuss the culture, beliefs and history of his Native American heritage.

Teachers, professors, administrators, attorneys, criminal justice and law enforcement personnel attend this premier professional development opportunity each year. The goal is to provide stimulating and innovative sessions in law-related civic education for participants new to the field as well as those with broad experience. Experts from New York State and around the nation conduct conference sessions, with participants receiving up-to-date information, original materials and instructional strategies they can use. Certificates of attendance are issued for the purpose of attaining district in-service credit.

The full list of conference topics and instructors are:

• Communities and Connections - Mary Miller (New York News Publishers Association)
• Representative Democracy in America - Karen Ferris-Fearnside (Master Trainer for We the People & Representative Democracy in America)
• Interviews for Understanding - Pamela Katz, Esq. (State Court Watch)
• Election 2010 - The National Midterms and New York State - Dr. Christopher Malone (Pace University)
• The Constitution & Character Education in the 21st Century - Linda Skidmore (Northport-East Northport School District) and Santo Scarpinito (Retired, Northport-East Northport School District)
• Native Americans and the 14th Amendment" -Karen Ferris-Fearnside (Master Trainer for We the People & Representative Democracy in America)
• Hip Hop in the Skoolz: Classroom Collaboration with Technology - William Grant (New York WEB Center)
• The Six Nations, Samuel Kirkland and the American Revolution - Andrew Bankert (Clinton Central School)
• Differentiated Lessons & Smartboard in the Social Studies Classroom - Melissa Walter (Western Suffolk BOCES) and Margaret D. Intreglia (West Babylon High School)
• Teaching Tolerance - Ethical Awareness for 21st Century Citizens - Paul D. Failla (Retired, Suffolk County Police)
• The Haudenosaunee Great Law and Influence on American Democracy - Perry Ground (Onondaga Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy - Iroquois)
• Building Civic Competencies through Law and Literature - David A. Scott, Esq. (Northport-East Northport School District)
• Civic Education and the Native American Initiative - Megan McCausland (Center for Civic Education)
• Developing Document-Based Activities on Native American Themes - Dr. George M. Gregory (LYC Program Consultant)
• Teaching Native American History Along the Multigenerational Continuum - Dr. Geoffrey Pierce (Greater Southern Tier BOCES)
• The Tough Decisions and Standing by Them - Peter Green (Encounter Niagara Tours)
• iCivics: Exploring Government through Online Games and Interactive Learning - Jeff Curley (iCivics)

The conference also offers the workshop, C-SPAN Resources in the Social Studies Classroom: Ten Ideas You Can Use with Joseph Karb, C-SPAN Teacher Ambassador. A representative from the Washington C-SPAN office will join through live video conferencing.

For more information about the 34th Annual Civics and Law-Related Education Conference, please visit

A partnership between the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Education Department, the Law, Youth and Citizenship (LYC) Program was established in 1974 to promote law-related education in New York's public and private schools. The LYC Program assists educators in preparing students - from Pre-K through high school -- for active, engaged roles as citizens. The LYC Program provides programs, training, and materials that enhance student understanding of the law, our constitutional form of government, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.

Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.