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Middle School Students to Participate in Simulated Congressional Hearings

Release Date: 12/16/2010 9:02:02 AM

Students at three Carroll County middle schools are presenting their research on the U.S. Constitution in the form of simulated Congressional hearings.  Mt. Airy Middle School will hold simulated hearings on Friday, December 17, 2010, from 9:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Oklahoma Road Middle School will hold its hearings on Monday, December 20, 2010, from 8:40 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. with a closing ceremony at 2:30 p.m. Similar hearings were held at New Windsor Middle School on December 14th.
 
These three schools are participating in a pilot program based on the We the People books sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. The primary goal of the Center’s We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s elementary and secondary students. The instructional program enhances students’ understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
 
The program’s culminating activity is a simulated Congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges comprised of school and community officials.
 
Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues. The presentations include a four-minute prepared statement followed by a six-minute follow-up question and answer period. The students do not know the judges’ follow-up questions in advance.
 
State Senator David Brinkley is scheduled to attend the sessions at Mt. Airy Middle School, and State Senator Allan Kittleman and Delegate Susan Krebs are expected to be on hand at Oklahoma Road Middle School.

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