Press Release: Wisconsin Students Receive National Honor Two Years in a Row:

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    Wisconsin Students Receive National Honor Two Years in a Row

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    For Immediate Release

    CONTACT: Teresa Weidemann-Smith
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025

    Wisconsin Students Receive National Honor Two Years in a Row

    MADISON, September 9, 2004 -- For the second year in a row, Wisconsin students received a superior rating, the highest possible, at the recent 2004 "We the People - Project Citizen" national competition in Salt Lake City, Utah. Of the 44 states competing nationally, only 15 earned a superior rating.

    In May, community leaders and State Bar of Wisconsin members judged 12 statewide portfolio submissions from 9 schools to select this year's Wisconsin finalist. Heritage Christian Middle School in Milwaukee took first place at the state competition for its project: "Youth and Smoking," a proposal to eliminate smoking at or near school grounds.

    "Wisconsin students have achieved the highest national category two years in a row with the We the People - Project Citizen program," says Michelle Behnke, State Bar of Wisconsin President. "This is a testament to the success of the program in our state's participating elementary and middle schools and reflects the skills and educational abilities of our younger students in the state. Educating our young people about their civic rights and responsibilities is especially important to a strong democratic society."

    Nearly 200 students and 10 teachers from nine Wisconsin schools participated in the statewide competition. We the People - Project Citizen in Wisconsin is one of a variety of law-related education programs that promotes competent, responsible participation in state and local government. The curricular program aims to educate students on civic issues and teaches students how to monitor and influence public policy. The state competition in Madison was sponsored by the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Center for Civic Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the US Department of Education. Last year, Crestwood Elementary School in Madison also achieved a superior rating for their portfolio, "Recess: Perishing Before Our Eyes," a proposal to increase student recess time at public schools.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 20,000 members, the State Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the value of lawyers.

    For more information on law-related education efforts or to participate in the Project Citizen program, visit, or contact Dee Runaas at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.