The 21st annual We the People Coordinator Conference was held in Washington, D.C., on June 21–24, 2008, and the seventh annual Project Citizen Coordinator Conference took place in Washington, D.C., on October 9–12, 2008.
During the We the People conference, more than 400 state and congressional district coordinators from around the country met to work together on programmatic strategies for the 2008–09 program year. Thirty-two breakout sessions were offered on topics such as teaching about the 2008 presidential elections, moving beyond the basics and taking simulated congressional hearings to new heights, and running a successful simulated congressional hearing competition.
“The June Conference is an excellent opportunity to bring all of the coordinators together to work and to get motivated for the year to come,” said the Center’s executive director, Charles N. Quigley.
Quigley and Mark Molli, the Center's associate director, provided an overview of the Center’s current funding initiatives during the plenary session.
Coordinators met with members of Congress on Capitol Hill to provide an update on the implementation progress during the previous and upcoming program years. They invited their members of Congress to participate in local events involving students from their district.
More than 400 coordinators attended the Project Citizen Coordinator Conference in Washington, D.C. They were joined by 38 coordinators from the National Conference of State Legislatures’ America’s Legislators Back to School program. The conference opened with a showing of a new video titled You Rule.
During the conference, Project Citizen coordinators exchanged ideas on program implementation strategies, shared information related to Project Citizen best practices, acquired information on implementing Project Citizen in various educational settings, and met with members of their state delegations to discuss goals for the upcoming year. This year, the conference focused on ways to align Project Citizen to 21st century skills. Presentations were made on developing civic skills for the 21st century and promoting democratic classrooms of the 21st century. The keynote address was given by Paige Kuni, the chairman of the board for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and the global manager for K–12 education at Intel, and David Byer, senior manager of education leadership and policy at Apple.
The conference also featured a luncheon to honor the recipients of the 2008 American Civic Education Teacher Awards, presented to Cheryl Cook-Kallio of California, Julie Kuhnhein of Kentucky, and Sally Broughton of Montana.