We the People/Project Citizen Days at the Capitol

The Oregon State Capitol was the place to be for more than 200 middle school students last month. It was Classroom Law Project’s annual We the People and Project Citizen Days. For the first time ever, students’ Project Citizen portfolios were on display in Governor Brown’s beautiful ceremonial office.

May 25 was We the People Day, a culminating event for students using the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution curriculum. Students participated in mock legislative hearings where teams of four to five students presented an opening statement on a constitutional issue which was followed by questions from panels of mock legislators. The legislator panels included students from 2nd-in-the-nation Grant High School Con Team, lawyers, and legislative staff. They probed the students’ understanding of constitutional issues, and the students responded with insight, knowledge, poise and polish!

The Project Citizen Showcase was May 25 and 26, including hearings on capitol hearing rooms on May 26. Described as “science fair for public policy,” students researched and presented their work on local problems such as the effects of poor school attendance, the homeless, polluted waterway, domestic abuse, and more. Displayed in the Governor’s ceremonial office, students’ portfolios were scored by CLP staff, board members, and other supporters. Portland’s Southwest Charter School, led by teacher Emily Conner, earned first place honors for its portfolio, “Domestic Abuse Affects Everyone, Including Men.” Their portfolio advances to the national competition in Los Angeles.

Hats off to the following schools and their teachers for participating:

Adam Stephens Middle School, Salem, Andrew Beyer

All Saints School, Portland, Holly Safranski

Christ the King Catholic School, Milwaukie, Meghan O’Dell

Creswell Middle School, Creswell, Kendra Anderson

Forest Grove Community School, Forest Grove, Shannon Perry

Grower K-8, Hillsboro, Kay Sunnes

Rosemont Ridge, West Linn, Linny Bryant

SW Charter School, Portland, Emily Conner