Semptember 2022 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

Explore Numerous Ways to Celebrate Constitution Week, We the People State Hearing Questions Available Now, Welcoming a New Chief Operating and Financial Officer, and More in This Month's Newsletter.

Constitution Week Resources from the Center for Civic Education

Constitution Week

Constitution Week is September 17-23! Celebrate this treasured document using the following creative and engaging resources available from the Center for Civic Education:

  1. The Constitution EXPLAINED: This series of 35 videos was created by the Center for Civic Education in partnership with iCivics and constitutional scholar Linda R. Monk, JD, to explain key aspects of the U.S. Constitution in everyday language and make our nation's founding document accessible to everyone. Topics include the three branches of government, amendments and ratification, the Bill of Rights, and more! Along with the video series, civic educators participated in an introductory webinar on how they can implement this series in their upper elementary, middle, and high school classrooms during Constitution Day, Citizenship Week, and throughout the year. Watch "The Constitution EXPLAINED."
  2. Constitution Day Lesson Plans: Access free lesson plans for grades K-12! These downloadable lessons help to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land and to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens. Access lesson plans here.
  3. 60-Second Civics Podcasts: The Constitution Day Scavenger Hunt with 60-Second Civics helps learners familiarize themselves with the delegates to the Constitutional Convention by listening to profiles of each Framer of the Constitution. The resource includes a lesson plan, student handout, teaching resources, and access to all the necessary podcasts. Start listening here.

Happy Constitution Week!

Learn More

State Hearing Questions

We the People State Hearing Questions Available Now!

It's We the People hearing season! The 2022-2023 We the People high school state hearing questions are now available here. Good luck to all this year's competitors! If your school, district, or state has set your dates for showcases and competitions, please let us know so we can spread the word. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any information as you start your We the People planning.

Download Now

Time Is Now

The Time Is Now!

The back-to-school season means more opportunities to engage students with one another, their teachers, and their communities to strengthen democracy. Through the Center's core programs and teacher professional development, we move civics to the center of education and enable teachers to make an exponentially positive impact. We need your help to increase opportunities, access to proven civic education teaching resources, and a practical, first-hand approach to learning about our constitutional democracy. Commit to a recurring or one-time donation today, and together we will make sustainable progress for a strong democracy.

Give Now


Welcoming Our New Chief Operating and Financial Officer: John Thurman!

The Center is thrilled to welcome John Thurman as our new Chief Operating and Financial Officer! Thurman joins the team from Excellent Education, where he served as the vice president of finance. Thurman received his bachelor's in political science from Purdue University and master's of public administration from California State University with a concentration in nonprofit management. His more than 15 years of nonprofit financial and operational management experience makes him a perfect fit for our growing organization. We are excited to welcome him to the team!


We Need Your Help to Support the Civics Secures Democracy Act

The Civics Secures Democracy Act needs you! This bipartisan legislation will create grants for states and districts to support and expand access to civics and U.S. history education. Please visit this link and contact your members of Congress. With a strong showing of nationwide support, we have the chance to make civics the bipartisan national priority it deserves to be.

Take Action


Civic Education Must Innovate

Just in time for Constitution Day, Center president Christopher R. Riano and Julie Silverbrook, Senior Director of Partnerships and Constitutional Scholar in Residence at iCivics, have penned an article for RealClearPublicAffairs titled "Civic Education Must Innovate to Deepen Constitutional Knowledge and Strengthen the Republic." Riano and Silverbrook spell out three challenges for civic education and highlight an innovative approach launched jointly by the two organizations: "The Constitution EXPLAINED."

Read Article

Quick Quiz! Which historian, upon visiting the United States in the 1830s, was impressed that Americans got together to solve their own problems?

A. John Stuart Mill
B. John Locke
C. Edmund Burke
D. Alexis de Tocqueville

Read on to learn the answer!

Send Photos

Send Us Your Photos!

The Center's programs, including We the People and Project Citizen, are civic education at its best. We want to shout it from the rooftops!

To that end, we want to share photos, stories, and quotations from you, your teachers, students, and others whose lives have been impacted by civic education and celebrate the work you all do! Please use this link to submit and share these stories, photos, and other examples. We will check in with you as we start to use them to shout out excellent civic education. Thanks for all you do!

Submit Here

Thank You Alumni

Thank You, Alumni!

We greatly appreciated the engagement survey responses from We the People and Project Citizen alumni and the follow-up conversations the Center staff had with several of you. Your passion and gratitude for our programs and mission are inspiring! As we review your feedback and plan for more robust engagement opportunities, we hope you will remain connected through our monthly newsletter and social media channels. If you are not a We the People Alumni Network member, please sign up today!

Sign Up


Welcome Our New Coordinator of National Programs: Hernán Sanchez!

Hernán Sanchez is the new Coordinator of National Programs for the Center for Civic Education. In his role, Sanchez will engage with the Center's dynamic staff and networks to coordinate and manage civic education programs. Before joining the Center, Sanchez served as the Family and Community Engagement Coordinator for the San Bernardino County Region in Southern California, supporting healthy youth development and improved academic achievement through increased family and community engagement within the schools. Sanchez incorporates 12 years of educational management experience, partnering with school districts and non-profit sectors. He has also served as a middle school English Language Arts/English Language Development co-teacher, working directly with English language learners and newcomers for the Menifee Union School District. He is a humanitarian at heart and deeply passionate about changing the odds for students, families, and communities. We are thrilled to have him on our team!

Program Team

Message from Donna Phillips, Ph.D., Vice President & Chief Program Officer

We are delighted that our program team is here! In addition to Emily Voss (introduced last month) and Hernán Sanchez, Leo Ficuță, our Community Engagement Exchange Fellow, is joining us for the next three months. See below to learn more about him and this innovative program. With our entire team up and running, you can expect many new opportunities to engage with us, each other, and our civic education resources and programs. If you ever have questions, ideas, or want to share awesome things you do in your classroom and state, don't hesitate to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are here to support each and everyone one of you as you bring civic education at its best to all.


The Center Hosts Community Engagement Exchange Fellow from Romania

The Center is proud to host George Leonard (Leo) Ficuță, a youth empowerment program leader from Romania, for a three-month fellowship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. His practicum at the Center runs from September to November and is part of the Community Engagement Exchange Program (CEE). CEE is a dynamic global network of innovators working with communities to address critical 21st-century issues. CEE equips dedicated visionaries with the expertise, skills, and resources to develop multi-sector approaches and build healthy and engaged communities in over 100 countries. CEE is funded by the U.S. government and supported in its implementation by IREX.

NCSS Philly

Will You Join Us at the National Council for the Social Studies Conference?

We look forward to seeing you in person at the National Council for the Social Studies annual conference in Philadelphia on December 2-4! In addition to hosting a booth at the Exhibit Hall, Center staff will present two sessions: Deep Constitutional Knowledge is Revolutionary on December 2 and Challenge Accepted: Educating for American Democracy with "We the People" on December 3.

Our teachers and coordinators make the best ambassadors! We would love for you to volunteer at the Center's booth in Constitution Alley. All volunteers get a free t-shirt to proudly wear at the conference. Sign up here to become a Center program ambassador.

Are you presenting at NCSS? Let us know, and we'll promote your session! We can't wait to cheer you on and learn from you as well. We will have many other opportunities to connect. More details to come, and we hope to see many of you there!


An Update on the James Madison Legacy Project Expansion Pilot

The James Madison Legacy Project Expansion pilot is underway! Thirty-four teachers are actively implementing the lessons with their students that the teachers wrote this summer. We are tracking feedback on resources and strategies that best help students access the We the People program and increase their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Feedback and data, including pre- and post-testing of students, will be used this fall and winter to refine the lessons and plan the training for our first year of mentors. We will also apply best practices and lessons from this pilot to future Center resources. This project is a significant step towards the Center's strategic goal of expanding access to quality constitutional and civic education to more people, especially those traditionally underrepresented and underserved.

Quiz Answer!

D. Alexis de Tocqueville (see episode 4702)

For more quizzes and learning opportunities, check out the 60-Second Civics podcast and daily civics quiz!


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