February 2017 Newsletter


News from the Center for Civic Education

We the People National Finals Roster, Opportunities for Students and Teachers, Civic Holidays, and More!

Celebrate Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a perfect time for educators and students to reflect on the history of African Americans in the United States, from the Fourteenth Amendment, to the civil rights movement, to today's men and women working hard in Washington. The Center offers lesson plans, videos, and podcasts that will help teachers build this month's curriculum. Learn More

Apply Today to Attend the National Academy

Time is running out to apply for this summer's National Academy for Civics and Government. This professional development opportunity at beautiful Occidental College runs from July 8-29, 2017, and is open to teachers from public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. Applications are due by March 1. Apply today!

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We the People State Competitions Wrapping Up; National Finals Roster Shows Promise

After two exciting months of We the People state-level competitions, the roster for the National Finals is nearing completion! The roster is shaping up to be an exciting mix of familiar teams and fresh faces, promising edge-of-your-seat excitement this spring in Washington, D.C. For a complete list of teams participating in this special 30th anniversary of the We the People National Finals, click below.

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Quick Quiz! Which of the following was NOT founded by Alexander Hamilton?

a. The New York Post
b. The U.S. Mint
c. The Library of Congress
d. The U.S. Coast Guard

Find the answer below!

Presidents' Day is Monday, February 20

Every third Monday in February, we are given the chance to honor the legacies of those who have served as American presidents. February is also home to a few presidential birthdays: Ronald Reagan on February 6, William H. Harrison on February 9, Abraham Lincoln on February 12, and George Washington on February 22. The Center for Civic Education offers a variety of lessons on presidential power and some of the United States' most noted leaders. Check them out at the link below.

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Did You Know: Thomas Jefferson is credited with inventing the swivel chair. Supposedly, he sat (and probably spun!) in one while writing the Declaration of Independence.

What Do Americans Actually Know About Civics?

A new podcast episode from New Hampshire Public Radio reveals just what Americans do and don't know about the Constitution, their government, and more. While some of the results are unfortunate—75% of those surveyed failed to name the three branches of government—the podcast is enlightening and a reminder of why civic education is so essential. Podcast guests include We the People teacher David Alcox of Milford High School and Applied Technology Center in Milford, New Hampshire, recipient of the 2013 American Civic Education Teacher Award.

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Did you know that donations to the Center are fully tax deductible? Please donate now!

Can You Pass the Civics Test Now Mandatory in 13 States?

As of this newsletter, 13 states have added a mandatory civics examination to their high school graduation requirements. While each state has developed its own structure for the test and scores necessary to pass, the content of all tests is taken from the United States citizenship examination. This includes questions about United States history and governmental structure. Think you can tackle the test? Click the link below to find out!

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Looking Ahead: March 2017

Quiz Answer: c. The Library of Congress. James Madison is believed to have proposed the idea for a congressional library.

Shop Amazon to Support the Center for Civic Education

Shopping on Amazon? Use this link to benefit We the People and the Center's other civic education programs. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Center for Civic Education. You pay the same price for your purchases, but you have the satisfaction of knowing you've helped students receive the high-quality civic education they deserve. Bookmark the link and keep giving all year with every purchase.



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