From the Arizona Republic, to a radio station in Lincoln, Nebraska, to a Channel One broadcast seen in 11,000 schools, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution classes and students generated wide-ranging media coverage during the 2007 national finals for their winning accomplishments and constitutional acumen.
Denver print and broadcast media, including the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News and television stations KUSA and KCNC, brought news of East High School’s national title, their championship assembly at the school, and their triumphal visit to the Colorado General Assembly. The Rocky Mountain News called the class “ratified winners” and KUSA declared, “the Founding Fathers would be proud.”
This year’s second-place class, Amador Valley High School of Pleasanton, California, was featured in the Tri-Valley Herald, the Pleasanton Weekly, the Contra Costa Times, InsideBayArea.com, and SFGate.com. San Francisco Chronicle education reporter Jill Tucker added a touch of nostalgia to her news blog at SFGate.com by linking to the 1970s “Schoolhouse Rock!” video on the U.S. Constitution.
The third-place winners from Grant High School were described in an article in the Oregonian. The story recounted the in-depth preparation of the Portland students, including their intensive course work and after-school practices with lawyers, a judge, and a university professor.
A crew from Channel One followed the classes from Vestavia Hills High School in Alabama and East Brunswick High School in New Jersey during the three days of the national finals. The students were the focus of a segment of Channel One’s news broadcast on May 2. More than 7 million students watch the daily broadcast in middle and high schools throughout the country. The We the People story tied into Channel One’s yearlong series on the First Amendment, called 1Voice.
Two students served as special correspondents for their local newspapers. Marcella Vokey wrote an article titled “We the People Goes to Washington: An Inside Look at the Chatham High School Team’s Trip to the Nationals” for Chatham, Massachusett’s Cape Cod Chronicle. Amador Valley High School student Carl Schlachte provided first-hand accounts to the California newspaper Tri-Valley Herald and InsideBayArea.com during the course of the competition.
We the People hearings at the district and state levels also drew media coverage during the 2006–2007 school year. Reporter Patrick Crowley described the simulated congressional hearings as “American Idol meets the Constitutional Convention,” in his article for Cincinnati's Enquirer.
“I really enjoy the class because there is no other class like it,” said Casey Turner of Northwest Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina, in the Northwest Observer. “We debate current events that don’t even get brought up in a regular classroom, and our teacher challenges us to think deeper.”
The Center provides links to the latest articles and broadcasts in the Center in the News section of its website, www.civiced.org. Media coverage of Center programs can be submitted to Mark Gage, Production Editor, at email@example.com. Members of the press interested in covering student participation in We the People and other civic education programs should contact Karen Whitaker, Program Manager, Public Relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.