Press Release: News Release July 2003: Crestwood Elementary Receives Superior Rating in National Tournament:

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    News Release July 2003: Crestwood Elementary Receives Superior Rating 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 Receives Superior Rating in National Tournament
    Madison school scores highest national rating in public policy contest

    MADISON, July 31, 2003 - Crestwood Elementary School students received a superior rating - the highest possible - at the 2003 "We the People - Project Citizen" competition in San Francisco last week. Of the 43 states competing nationally, only 14 earned a superior rating

    In May, Crestwood took first place at the state competition for its project "Recess: Perishing Before Our Eyes" that proposed to increase student recess time at public schools. Held at the State Bar of Wisconsin headquarters in Madison, the statewide competition hosted 7 teams from 6 schools with more than 75 students.

    "Not only has this team achieved national acclaim," said Dee Runaas, State Bar law education coordinator. "They have garnered a lot of local interest with their civic participation project. They have appeared before both the local school board and editorial board to plead their case. It's been a great group to work with," Runaas said.

    Among the 46 students who worked to reclaim a morning outdoor recess, 8 students and 3 teachers spearheaded the project prompting the Madison school district to reconsider its recess policy. Madison School Board member Ruth Robarts plans to introduce a resolution at an August 11 meeting requiring all district elementary schools to offer three daily outdoor recesses.

    Crestwood 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


    Aimed at educating students on civic issues, 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 state competition 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.

    The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who hold a law license in Wisconsin. 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.