We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is a nationally acclaimed civic education program which helps students understand the history and principles of our constitutional government. We the People focuses on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights and fosters civic competence and responsibility among elementary and secondary students in public and private schools. The program is administered by the Center for Civic Education. It was established in 1987 under the Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution. For over 30 years, this civic education program has involved thousands of Connecticut students and teachers in the study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Students prepare for these hearings by completing an instructional program using the text, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution. Each member of the class becomes an expert on one of the six units in the text and then testifies in small groups before a panel of judges acting as U.S. congressional representatives. During the simulated congressional hearing, students are judged on the following criteria: understanding, constitutional application, reasoning, supporting evidence, responsiveness, and participation.
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Competition 2016
More than 150 student from six high schools tested their knowledge of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights during the 30th We the People” the Citizen and the Constitution state competition on Friday, December 9, 2016, at Central Connecticut State University. Students demonstrated their knowledge of the Constitution before a simulated congressional hearing committee consisting of constitutional scholars, judges, lawyers, government and business leaders, and educators who judged the classes’ performances.
Each class was divided into six groups, corresponding with the units in the We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution text. Each group made a four minute presentation, followed by six minutes of questioning by judges probing students on their depth of understanding.
Greenwich High School, Greenwich, teacher Aaron Hull
Immaculate High School, Danbury, teacher Wendy Neil
Saint Joseph High School, Trumbull, teacher Nancy Lessard
South Windsor High School, South Windsor, teacher Marc D’Amato
Staples High School, Westport, teacher Suzanne Kammerman
Trumbull High School, Trumbull, teacher, Katie Boland
The winning team from Trumbull High advances to represent Connecticut at the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals, April 21-24, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Staples High placed second and Greenwich High was third.
Congratulations to all of the students who participated. They spent long hours outside of class time in order to impress the judges with their thorough knowledge of the Constitution and their ability to apply Constitutional principles to contemporary issues.