Kentucky Court of Justice
Six student teams to compete in state showcase for We the People: Project Citizen on May 19 in Frankfort
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Student teams from five Kentucky middle schools and one elementary school will compete Tuesday, May 19, in the state showcase for We the People: Project Citizen at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort. The winning team will be eligible to have its entry sent to the national showcase for judging in July.
Student teams that will participate in the showcase are from Eastern Elementary School in Pleasureville, Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort, Henry County Middle School in New Castle, Monticello Middle School in Monticello, Paducah Middle School in Paducah and Shelby County East Middle School in Shelbyville.
In no particular order, the showcase entries are on the topics of student obesity, juvenile delinquency through Teen Court, elderly driving retesting, saving energy, guard rails and littering.
Awards will be announced Tuesday afternoon.
Project Citizen is a hands-on, portfolio-based civic education program that promotes participation in local and state government by teaching students about the public policy process and encouraging civic involvement. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy.
Project Citizen teams in fifth through eighth grades identify and analyze issues and problems facing their communities and address one of the issues for their project. The issue or problem must be one that could be addressed through public policy, such as a law or regulation. The groups gather information about the issue, examine policies and develop an action plan detailing the steps that need to be taken to have the appropriate school, government or other entity implement their public policy proposal. The final product is a portfolio displaying each group’s work and an accompanying binder documenting its research.
On the state level, the teams are judged based on their portfolios, binders and project presentations. The presentation includes answering questions from showcase judges. The winning team’s portfolio and binder are sent to nationals, where members of state legislatures, legislative staff and educators serve as judges. The national showcase is held as part of the National Conference of State Legislatures legislative summit each year. The students do not present their work at nationals and usually are not present.
Henry County Middle School won the 2008 state showcase with an entry on recycling and went on to earn the top rating of Superior at the national Project Citizen showcase.
National judging for this year’s state title-winning Project Citizen entries from across the country will take place July 20-24 in Philadelphia during the National Conference of State Legislatures legislative summit.
The Kentucky Court of Justice and the Center for Civic Education in California are co-sponsors of the We the People: Project Citizen program. Project Citizen is one of the many youth-related programs offered through the Administrative Office of the Courts in Frankfort. The AOC is the operational arm of the Kentucky Court of Justice and supports the activities of 4,000 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. The AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.