Volunteers needed for upcoming 'We the People' national finals

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is seeking volunteers with constitutional and field expertise for the annual “We the People” competition, which showcases high school students' knowledge of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The Michigan Center for Civic Education has directed the We the People…the Citizen and the Constitution program in Michigan since the program began in 1987 as a special program to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Developed by the Center for Civic Education, the primary goal of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence, responsibility, appreciation, and enthusiasm for the Constitution and our societal issues among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students.

We the People engages students in a curriculum designed to foster understanding of the institutions of American democracy, including the Constitution with a specialization in the Bill of Rights. Culminating activities feature a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of volunteer attorneys, educators, and civic leaders. A prepared response and a conversation between students and their panel of judges highlights the best of both student-centered pedagogy and Constitutional scholarship.

The event simulates congressional hearings, and students have the opportunity to address panels and testify on critical Constitutional questions of the day in front of event judges, who act as members of Congress. High school students display their knowledge and understanding of constitutional law principles by evaluating, taking, and defending positions on several relevant historical and contemporary issues.

Volunteers must attend a 30–45-minute virtual orientation and select hours between 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or all day on competition day. It is strongly suggested that event judges participate all day to ensure consistency in judging.

Districts were held in mid-November, and the final state championship is happening on January 6, 2023. The exact location is still being determined, but the event will be in Lansing or East Lansing.

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