by Terry Rogers
When the team travels to Washington, DC, Milford Central Academy’s (MCA) “We the People” team will be the first middle school team to ever participate in the National Invitational. The team is led by MCA teacher Sam Holloway.
“We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution introduces middle school students to the study of constitutional government in the United States,” Chris Kenton, who helped lead a week-long training on the program two summers ago at Valley Forge, said. “It is designed to help middle school students understand he most important ideas of our constitutional system and how they were developed. It is intended to provide students with knowledge about how the Constitution came into existence, why it took the form it did and how it has functioned for the past 200 plus years.”
The culminating activity is a mock congressional hearing and teachers choose to enter the class into the formal competition. There has been a We the People competition at Milford High School every year since 1987, but Mr. Holloway’s class is the first middle school class to compete for the district. At the national competition, students will be given the opportunity to testify in front of a distinguished panel of judges to demonstrate what they have learned over the year.
“The National Invitational is the end-all event,” Mr. Kenton said. “There will be teams from all across the country there vying for the first-place prize. Each unit is given three sets of questions to prepare for and each state will have one of those questions to testify on that Saturday as well as one more on Sunday. The final three teams advance to the Championship Round on Monday. When the teams are not competing, their schedules are jam packed with museum tours.”
The We the People program was started in 1987 by Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. It marked the 200th anniversary of our Constitution. Justice Burger developed the program because he wanted more civics education in the United States. With the help of the Center for Civic Education, the We the People program began.
The National Invitational will take place from Friday, May 4 through Tuesday May 8 and Milford plans to send approximately 12 students to the event this year.
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