Press Release: News Release May 2003: Crestwood Elementary to compete in national tournament:

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    News Release May 2003: Crestwood Elementary to compete in national tournament

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Christi Powers
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6025
    org cpowers wisbar wisbar cpowers org

    Crestwood Elementary to compete in national tournament
    The Madison school takes first place in public policy contest

    MADISON, May 28, 2003 - Crestwood Elementary School students took first place in a public policy contest held earlier this month at the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. Aimed at educating students on civic issues, the We the People - Project Citizen competition hosted 7 teams with more than 75 students from 6 schools throughout the state.

    "It was a close contest and our judges had a tough time selecting from the wonderful variety of projects," said Dee Runaas, State Bar law education coordinator. "Crestwood did a nice job and worked very hard to take first place - especially since they were a group of elementary school kids competing with older middle school students," she said.

    The eight-student team from Crestwood Elementary worked with three teachers to prepare a detailed portfolio and table-sized visual display entitled "Recess: Perishing Before Our Eyes." The project proposed to increase student recess time at public schools. Student team members include:

    Nick Allen

    Carlton Hemphill

    Ben Brasser

    Chris Houden

    Hailey Cross

    Lindsey Hughes

    Tessa Dorressteyn

    Katie Pellino

    Crestwood Elementary teaching staff includes:

    Joyce Hemphill
    Peter Plane
    Teri Thomas

    Project Citizen is a civic education program to promote competent and responsible participation in state and local government. The students' final product is a large portfolio displaying how they identified, researched and developed their public policy action plan. Teams present their portfolios in a simulated legislative hearing before a panel of judges.

    The diverse panel of 22 judges -- attorneys, legislative staff, government leaders and retired teachers - ranked entries based on completeness, clarity, and graphics. In addition to the competition, Crestwood students have been asked to present their project to the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board and Madison Metropolitan School District board members this week.

    "We're really excited to have these additional opportunities to showcase this project," said Joyce Hemphill, a Crestwood teaching assistant. "This is the first time the school has won the event and we're looking forward to future competitions so more students can get involved," she said.

    The competition, held at State Bar Center in Madison on May 17, was sponsored by the Wisconsin Law Foundation, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Center for Civic Education, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Department of Education.

    For more information on other State Bar law-related education efforts, visit, or contact Dee Runaas at (800) 444-9404, ext. 6191.