Kentucky Court of Justice
Henry County Middle School is state champ in We the People: Project Citizen
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Henry County Middle School’s We the People: Project Citizen team recently earned the title of state champion for the second year in a row, prevailing over teams from five other schools at the state showcase held May 19 in Frankfort. The team’s entry focused on energy conservation. The state title qualifies the entry to be judged at the national Project Citizen showcase in July.
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. Each year, student teams have the opportunity to enter their Project Citizen portfolios and accompanying research binders into the state showcase for judging. They also give a presentation on their entry to the showcase judges.
Winning team members are Shelby Abrams, Sydney Abrams, Savanah Allgeier, Vernon Baker, Haley Bramblett, Jessie Carothers, Colleen Coomes, Ashley Craigmyle, Jhenna Dykes, Cathryn Fischer, Emily Guffey, Jessica Holcomb, Corbin Jeffries, Derreck Jeffries, Jordan Lewellen, Landon New, James Pollard, Kelsey Sanders, Carlie Seligman, Aly Stanley, Isaac Steverson, Shelby Treece and Madison Wagner. Members selected by their team to receive individual awards are Sydney Abrams for Best Overall, Landon New for Best Researcher and Shelby Treece for Best Speaker. The team’s coaches are teachers Fran Nolin and Amy Treece.
Henry County Middle School is located in New Castle.
The state runner-up team is also from a Henry County school. Eastern Elementary School in Pleasureville took second place at the state showcase with its entry urging decision-makers to install cable barriers along a particular Henry County road.
Runner-up team members are Lucas Armstrong, Hannah Brewer, Ricki Carter, Teagan Fish, Devon Haberman, Candace Hoskins, Heather Lisby, Joshua Logsdon, Casey McKinney, Noah Medley, Justin Moore, Chandler Oak, Shelby Ray, Nathan Roesch, Austin Stamper, Jacob Watson, Kelsie Watson, Dyllion Wheeler and Matthew Willard. Members selected by their team to receive individual awards are Chandler Oak for Best Overall, Devon Haberman for Best Researcher and Jacob Watson for Best Speaker. The team’s coach is teacher Stephanie Wood.
Other teams that competed at the state showcase were from Elkhorn Middle School in Frankfort, Monticello Middle School in Monticello, Paducah Middle School in Paducah and Shelby County East Middle School in Shelbyville. Their projects focused on addressing student obesity (Elkhorn), juvenile delinquency (Monticello), elderly drivers (Paducah) and littering (Shelby).
National judging for Henry County Middle School’s entry and other 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. A Henry County Middle School team won the 2008 state Project Citizen showcase with an entry on recycling and went on to earn the top rating of Superior at the national showcase.
Project Citizen 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 stand-up portfolio displaying each group’s work and an accompanying binder documenting its research.
Teams that participate in the annual Project Citizen state showcase are judged on their portfolios, binders and project presentations. The team with the winning portfolio and binder is eligible to have them judged at the national Project Citizen showcase. The winning team does not give a project presentation on the national level. The judges, who are state legislators, legislative staff and educators, judge only the printed materials. The national showcase is held each year as part of 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 3,800 court system employees, including the elected offices of justices, judges and circuit court clerks. The AOC also executes the Judicial Branch budget.