Press Release: Students Compete in State Hearings Competition:

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    Students Compete in State Hearings Competition

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    For Immediate Release

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

    Students Compete in State Hearings Competition

    (MADISON) February 7, 2005 – Student teams from Greenfield, Heritage Christian, Ripon, Wauwatosa East and Wisconsin Dells High Schools participated in the 2005 We the People ... The Citizen and the Constitution Wisconsin State Hearing competition at the State Capitol in Madison. The teams prepared for the competition by completing a semester instructional program about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

    We the People ... The Citizen and the Constitution, a national program based on curriculum designed to promote a deeper understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education. Wisconsin's program, supported by the State Bar of Wisconsin Law-related Education Committee, the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies and the Wisconsin Law Foundation promotes civic competence and responsibility among students.

    "In the past 18 years, this educational program has involved hundreds of students and teachers in the study of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights," said Chuttie Senn, Chair of the Law-related Education Committee of the State Bar of Wisconsin. "The mock congressional hearing event is the culmination of students learning and understanding the Constitutional principles of our government."

    At the competition, students answered questions posed by panels consisting of lawyers, legislators and educational professionals. Students benefit from critical thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, and cooperative learning techniques which help develop intellectual and participatory skills while increasing students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy.

    "Each member of the class becomes an expert witness on one of six units in the curriculum text and then testifies in small groups before a panel of volunteer judges acting as U.S. congressional representatives, Senn said. "The curriculum's design and mock congressional hearing activity, makes this program so successful because it addresses the standards required in Wisconsin's (K-12) curriculum."

    Miss Madison 2004 Kelly Jo Stauffacher and Miss Wisconsin 2004 Molly Jean McGrath, who also served as judges for the competition, presented awards to the students at the awards ceremony following the competition. Heritage Christian High School with teacher Tim Moore took first place honors at the 2005 competition. The students will participate in the National Hearing Competition in April 2005 in Washington D.C.

    For more information about the State Bar of Wisconsin's We the People ... The Citizen and the Constitution program, contact Dee Runaas, State Bar of Wisconsin LRE Coordinator at (608) 250-6191 or at org drunaas wisbar wisbar drunaas org or Teresa Weidemann-Smith, Public Relations Coordinator at (608) 250-6025 or at org twsmith wisbar wisbar twsmith org.

    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 21,000 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.

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