One of the great challenges facing our country today is the creation of civic responsibility in our youth. Engaging in congressional hearing simulations has proven to do just that in my classroom. Following a second-place finish at the "We the People: Citizen and the Constitution" Illinois State Finals in Chicago, my students have the opportunity to compete at the National Finals in Washington D.C. in April. http://www.civiced. org/national-finals-2018
This experience has the potential to dramatically shape the lives and career choices of the young women and men that make the trip. Their challenge is to prepare and defend a concise argument about Constitutional issues, my challenge is to get them there.
The costs of the trip to the National Finals are estimated to be over $1500 per student ($22,500 for the group). Our school cannot fund the trip as no money has been set aside for such unexpected expenses. The members of my competition team are all seniors and their families are preparing for college expenses looming in the near future. In many cases, my students have conveyed that they will not be able to cover the cost. We are considering all possible fundraising activities, but our time is short. Later this week we will make the first deposit (thanks to the generous donation from the Illinois Center for Civic Education ) and are committed to the trip. More costs remain and deadlines approach! It is here where your contribution toward deferring the cost of the trip could make all the difference.
The list of schools committed to the National Congressional Hearing Finals is impressive and growing. SJO's student body is always up for competing with the best....this is an opportunity that we can't miss. This valuable experience has already prompted many of my students to consider careers in law or politics that never would have otherwise. As my students testify before experts and defend their arguments under intense scrutiny, they are engaging in civics education in a manner that is creating leaders of tomorrow. Your assistance is key to assure that SJO has the opportunity to showcase their skills on the national stage.
I am so very proud of my school and the students that represent SJO. This competition has revealed so much more about them in my eyes. They are eager to use their talents to be heard and to change the world for the better. Thank you for your consideration and any help that you can provide as we seek to represent Illinois at the national competition in Washington, D.C..
Social Science Teacher and Constitution Team Coach
St. Joseph, Ogden High School
301 N. Main
St. Joseph, IL 61873