Monday, September 19, 2011

Great Resource Directory for WV Civics Education Programs

Resource Directory
WV Civics Education Programs

Law Adventure
Mock Trial Program

Kandi Greter, Public Education Coordinator
WV Supreme Court of Appeals
State Capitol, 
Charleston, WV 25305; 
phone: 304-558-0145; 
 fax: 304-558-1212;

An annual competition that allows middle school students experience and gain a full understanding of the law court procedures and the American judicial system.  Each class writes its own script based on one of three scenarios written by the Young Lawyers Section of the West Virginia State Bar. All participating classes perform their scripts at their local courthouse in front of a judicial officer of their choice – either a circuit judge, family court judge, or magistrate.
The Young Lawyers Section chooses the winners, whose awards include a school plaque and encore mock trial performance in front of a Supreme Court Justice.

Civic Life Institute

WV Center for Civic Life
Betty Knighton, director

The Civic Life Institute trains citizens of all ages in techniques and processes to engage citizens in dialogue and deliberation of important state and national issues.  Many students have learned how to moderate public discussions, and teachers have used issue materials targeted to the needs of WV communities in classrooms.  The Center for Civic Life also works to move community dialogue to community action.

WV Commission for National & Community Service
Stephanie Yu, Director
710 Central Ave
Charleston, WV 25302

Corporation for National and community Service
Kathleen Roedersheimer, Dir.
10 Hale St
Charleston, WV

National service program that provides a stipend and education award for community service to citizens age 17 and older.  Active citizenship, civic knowledge, and reflection are integral parts of all AmeriCorps programs.

Participants need to be at least 17 to join.  AmeriCorps includes three programs  with slightly different focuses: AmeriCorps State and National which emphasizes direct service to meet community needs;  Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) which emphasizes service that works with low-income people to promote self-sufficiency and the elimination of poverty;  and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) which is limited to ages 17 – 25 and is a team-centered program with an environmental focus that operates regionally at five central locations.
High School Mentor Partnership Program

WV State Bar
Anita Casey, Exec. Dir.
2006 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston WV 25311

The State Bar links volunteer attorneys in every county with K – 12 schools as mentors to support learning about the law and the Constitution.

Charlie Myers, HI-Y director
HI-Y Leadership center
P.O. Box 239
Pt. Pleasant, WV 25550


HI-Y engages young people in a process of leadership development through civic responsibility.  HI-Y connects meaningful community service with academic learning, personal and group growth, civic responsibility, and reflection. Supported by adult advisors, HI-Clubs are incubators of leadership where teens figure out what they can do to make their schools and communities better, plan and organize how to turn ideas into action, step out to make differences for good and then take time to review what's accomplished and what to do better the next time.  HI-Y annual conference provides program and organizational skill training.


Kandi Greter, Public Education Coordinator
WV Supreme Court of Appeals
State Capitol, 
Charleston, WV 25305; 
Phone: 304-558-0145; 
Fax: 304-558-1212;

The WV Supreme Court of Appeals is participating in a project of the National Center for State Courts entitled Justice Case Files, a graphic novel series for high school seniors that addresses various legal issues relevant to teenagers. This year, every high school in West Virginia received copies of the first Justice Files graphic novel, along with a corresponding lesson plan for teachers. The Division of Children’s Services will distribute a new issue every year to all high schools.


Kandi Greter, Public Education Coordinator
WV Supreme Court of Appeals
State Capitol, 
Charleston, WV 25305; 
phone: 304-558-0145; 
 fax: 304-558-1212;
The LAWS program, “Legal Advancement for West Virginia Students," is designed to educate high school students about the judicial branch of government. Participating students learn about a real Supreme Court case and then watch oral arguments in that case in person.
Participating students have a unique opportunity to attend a Supreme Court session in their own, or a nearby, community. 
Students are provided with study materials and classroom instruction in advance so that they understand the issues in the case and how it reached the Supreme Court. Teachers receive notebooks of materials during a training session conducted by local circuit judges and Supreme Court staff. Using the materials provided by the Court, teachers include judicial education in their curricula before and after students attend the oral argument. Volunteer lawyers and judges also go into classrooms to prepare students.
Following the oral argument before the Supreme Court in a local courtroom, the students meet for a "debriefing" with the attorneys who argued the case they heard. They also have an opportunity to meet informally with the Court during lunch, provided by the community hosting LAWS.
Model UN

Charlie Myers
HI-Y Leadership center
P.O. Box 239
Pt. Pleasant, WV 25550


In Model UN, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues on the organization's agenda. Months of study and the support of adult advisors culminate in a 3-day Model UN session where students run a General Assembly session.
Students make speeches, prepare draft resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure - all in the interest of mobilizing "international cooperation" to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world.

Mountaineer Boys/
Rhododendron Girls State

WV American Legion
Robert Fochalis, Commander

WV American Legion Auxiliary
Mary Rose Yoho

Boys State and Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs sponsored by the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary for high school students between their junior and senior years.
The program is a one-week course in the operations of government and the political process. Each citizen, as they are referred to, can choose one of six career paths. These paths are: Legislative, Judicial, Financial, Law Enforcement, Journalism, and Homeland Security.
The objective is to have the young people run the 51st state of the United States. They will elect all positions for state, county, and city government, while learning the valuable life lessons in how government works.
West Virginia has the second oldest Boys State program in the nation, operating since 1936.
Boys/Girls State is staffed by members and community leaders who volunteer their time and effort to this enterprise. Its administrative costs are defrayed by the Legion state organizations and local sponsors. Citizens of Boys/Girls State are selected with the help of their high school principals on the basis of potential leadership qualities and must be between their Junior and Senior years in high school to qualify.

Project Citizen

Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education
Robert Waterson, Director
West Virginia University
700 Allen Hall
Morgantown, WV 26506-6122
Work Phone: 304-293-3849

Project Citizen is a curricular program for middle, secondary, and post-secondary students, youth organizations, and adult groups that promote competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy.
     Entire classes of students or members of youth or adult organizations work cooperatively to identify a public policy problem in their community. They then research the problem, evaluate alternative solutions, develop their own solution in the form of a public policy, and create a political action plan to enlist local or state authorities to adopt their proposed policy. Participants develop a portfolio of their work and present their project in a public hearing showcase before a panel of civic-minded community members.
Righting a Wrong
Video Contest

WV State Bar
Anita Casey, Exec. Dir.
2006 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston WV 25311

The contest is open to West Virginia public school students in grades 6 through 12 and gives participants the chance to create a video about a wrong that they would right, an injustice they would correct. Videos are judged based on originality, creativity and adherence to the theme. First, second and third place winners are chosen on both the high school and middle school levels with $1000, $500, and $250 prizes awarded.

Robes to Schools

Kandi Greter, Public Education Coordinator
WV Supreme Court of Appeals
State Capitol, 
Charleston, WV 25305; 
phone: 304-558-0145; 
 fax: 304-558-1212;

The goal of Robes to Schools is to have as many of our jurists as possible – active and retired justices, circuit judges, family court judges and magistrates – make regular appearances in West Virginia schools. Judicial officers will volunteer to participate in Read Aloud programs in elementary schools and join a new speaker's bureau to talk to elementary, middle and high school classes about the judicial system.  See volunteer opportunities database

Volunteer WV
Lisa Tignor, Coordinator
710 Central Ave.
Charleston, WV 25302
304-588-0111 is an online database that matches people who want to volunteer with organizations that need volunteers. Matches are made on the basis of interest, location, and availability.  Citizens of all ages can browse the database to find opportunities in their area and sign up to receive email notices when opportunities matching their interests are added to the database.  Organizations that need volunteers can sign on as affiliates and recruit volunteers.  Volunteers and organizations may use the database to record and track volunteer hours.

We the People:  The Citizen and the Constitution

Rebecca Tinder
State Coordinator
Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP
600 Quarrier St
Charleston, WV 25301-2121

The Center for Civic Education provides free sets of materials to teachers wishing to participate in the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program.  The text material in “We the People” provides a vivid and thorough understanding of the principles which support our way of governing. They also provide summer institutes to teachers to effectively use the material. After regional and statewide competitions, which are judged by lawyers and members of the state’s judiciary, a high school team is selected to be West Virginia’s representative in the We, the People national event in Washington, DC, in April. This program is an excellent opportunity for high school students to learn about constitutional rights and responsibilities and then discuss these issues before panels of judges.

WV Board of Education
student board representative

Virginia Harris
Executive Secretary
WV Board of Education

Every year, the WV Board of Education selects West Virginia high school students to serve as non-voting student representatives.  Students participate in school board meetings to bring student perspectives to the board’s deliberations.

WV Dept. of Education
Joey Wiseman, state social studies Coordinator
Bldg 6, room 603
Charleston, WV 25305-0330

The WV Dept. of Education website is a comprehensive guide to parents, educators, administrators and students in the state of West Virginia.  State standards for civic knowledge and skills are posted, as well as many tools and resources for civic education.

Youth in Government
High School
8th grade

Charlie Myers
HI-Y Leadership center
P.O. Box 239
Pt. Pleasant, WV 25550

Youth in Government begins each September in high schools throughout the state.  Training conferences are held in November and June.  In April, months of study and preparation culminate in a 3-day student legislative and supreme court session using actual legislative and court facilities at the State Capitol.  Youth serve as delegates and senators, justices, officers, lobbyists, and press in order to act on youth-written legislative proposals.
Youth Leadership Academy

WV Sheriffs’ Association
Rudi Raynes-Kidder, director
PO Box 3031
Charleston WV 25331

The West Virginia Sheriffs’ Youth Leadership Academy is an annual, 6-day residential summer program for teenage citizens from throughout the state. The Academy seeks to deter risk-taking behavior patterns by introducing the participants to recreation alternatives and educating them on the negative consequences of drugs, alcohol, and violence. The Academy provides youth with the leadership skills necessary for them to go back to their home communities and help others deal with these challenges. The Academy also encourages participation in citizenship activities and teaches responsibility. A typical schedule will include a mock trial and mock elections, investigation techniques, cultural sensitivity, peer group discussions.
Youth Leadership Initiative
Mock Election
WV Secretary of State’s Office
Sean Hill

The Secretary of State’s office partners with the national Youth Leadership Initiative to participate in the only statewide mock elections.  Students may vote online or with paper ballots.  Schools need a teacher to be registered with YLI in order for students to participate.  See to register.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Events for September -- Constitution Month!

Celebrate the History, Ideas and Values of our Nation’s Constitution
Constitution Day, Week (and Month!)
Schedule of Events, September 2011

September 1
John Marshall and the Legalization of the Constitution:  lecture by Columbia University history professor Jean Edward Smith at 7 p.m. in the Don Morris Room at the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus of Marshall University. Part of the Amicus Curiae: Lectures on Constitutional Democracy series continuing through the fall with scholars from around the country. to the website where the Marshall University's "Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy" will be broadcast on September 1, 2011 at 7 p.m.

September 1-6
Travelling Vietnam War Memorial:  Parkersburg City Park

September 8
Declaration of Commitment / 9/11 Remembrance event
1:00 PM Cultural Center Charleston
Recognition of 9-11 through recommitment to civic literacy, patriotism and respect for the Constitution.   This 30 minute program will feature school performances, remarks from a 9/11 volunteer, and the signing of a declaration of commitment reaffirming our dedication to the ideas and values of our Constitution.   A Declaration of Commitment will remain at the Cultural Center for all West Virginians to sign.
September 11
10 Year Anniversary
All West Virginians are encouraged to remember those who lost their lives and reaffirm the values of our constitution through community service.  Contact local officials for details of county observances.

September 11
National Day of Service and Remembrance: CITO—Cache in Trash Out

Cache In Trash Out (CITO) National Day of Service 2011 service project will focus on litter clean-up; together we can make an enormous positive impact. AmeriCorps members across the state are partnering with Explore (a program from the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts), Volunteer West Virginia, and WVREAP to promote and participate in
CITO, an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers around the world have been dedicated to improving parks and other cache-friendly places. Through these volunteer efforts, we help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources!

Litter cleanup sites are listed below:
Rich Mountain Battlefield, Randolph County
Ice Mountain Conservancy, Hampshire County
Thomas Tucker Windfarms, Tucker County
Logan County Mall, Logan County
Charleston (location TBD), Kanawha County
Huntington (location TBD), Cabell County
Parkersburg (location TBD), Wood County

Contact:  Robin Taylor 304-558-2440

September 11
National Day of Service and Remembrance:

To mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, volunteers will create and deliver thank you gifts to fire departments, emergency medical services and police stations as a way to remember the responders that served on that day and in the following weeks and months and to remember and recognize the hard work of the first
responders in our community. All materials for gifts and maps will be provided. Groups and individuals must provide their own transpor-tation.  RSVP by Sept. 8.

1:00 Canaan United Methodist church (401 Roane St, Charleston) Kanawha county

Contact:  Heather Foster, 303-558-0111,

September 14
Democracy at Risk:  7 pm, Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies at Shepherd University, Shepardstown, Jefferson County

Bob Edgar, CEO of Common Cause, will present a lecture titled Democracy at Risk, in which he will address the challenges posed to the political process by the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision on the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.  Edgars’ talk, the seventh annual Tom E. Moses Memorial Lecture on the U.S. Constitution, will be presented as part of the observance of Constitution Day at Shepherd University.  A discussion and reception will follow.  The program is free and open to the public.   

September 14
John Marshall Birthday Cake on the Plaza
11:00 AM Marshall University
Our founding Supreme court justice will be celebrated at the University named for him.  The Marshall Fyfe and Drum Corp will perform.
September 14
Constitution Day lecture
Noon, Lugar Courtroom, WVU College of Law

The secession of the South resulted in a new government, the Confederate State of America, which President Lincoln refused to recognize.  Recognition by Great Britain, however, would have ended the Civil War in favor of the south.  Meanwhile, the Lincoln administration created the new state of West Virginia, a secession within a secession. Author and professor Roger Billings will use the Civil War as a spring board for discussion of international law as it applies to secession today.  Contact:  Brian Caudill,

September 15
Constitution Bowl
Resource Center, Eastern WV Community & Technical College, Moorefield
Ben Franklin will moderate a trivia contest that will focus on events leading to the Constitutional Convention and adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, 1777 – 1791.  Students may compete as teams or individuals.

September 16
Constitution Day:
This year we celebrate the 224th anniversary of the signing of our nation’s founding document.  Revered around the world, the U.S. Constitution is an historic achievement with which all Americans should be familiar.  On this day, read the Constitution or the Bill of Rights together with family, friends, co-workers, and others and discuss its meaning for today’s world.  Reflect on our responsibilities as citizens and recognize the many role models of good citizenship in our communities.  Contact local officials for details of county observances.

September 16
Federal Courts:  Guardian of the Constitution
10:00 AM Robert C. Byrd Courthouse, Charleston
The public is invited to reflect on the importance of the Constitution in the beautiful Ceremonial Courtroom of the Robert C. Byrd Courthouse, Charleston.   Ring the bells of freedom provided by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

September 16
Constitution Day Celebration
Huntington High School
League Of Women Voters of The Huntington Area will present the Constitution as a living document and review the progression of changes in voting rights laws that today give everyone over the age of 18 the right, and responsibility, to vote.
Contact:   Helen Gibbins 304-736-3287

September 20
The Causes of the Civil War:  A Primer
7 p.m.  O'Hurley's General Store, Shepherdstown

The causes of the American Civil War are varied and complex. Mark Snell, director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War at Shepherd University, will discuss the major sectional issues that led to the Civil War, from the nation’s founding through the tumultuous decade of the 1850s to the election of Abraham Lincoln.

September 21
Openness: from the routine business of state and local government to national security issues Panel Discussion
BE5, Marshall University, 4:00 PM
Panelists will include:  David Herzog, University of Missouri; Ed Dawkins, Herald Post-Dispatch; Ted Boettner, WV Center of Budget and Policy; Joseph Thornton, WV Dept of Military Affairs and Public Safety.

September 21
Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness
10 pm on PBS
Not In Our Town: Light in the Darkness is a one-hour documentary about a town coming together to take action after anti-immigrant violence devastates the community. In 2008, a series of attacks against Latino residents of Patchogue, New York culminate with the murder of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant who had lived in the Long Island village for 13 years.
Over a two-year period, the story follows Mayor Paul Pontieri, the victim’s brother, Joselo Lucero, and Patchogue residents as they openly address the underlying causes of the violence, work to heal divisions, and begin taking steps to ensure everyone in their village will be safe and respected.
Community groups can find information on sponsoring local screenings plus discussion guides  at:
The City of Clarksburg is planning activities along with the screening.

September 22
Robert C. Byrd Forum on Civic Responsibility
FEB Exp Theatre, Marshall University, 12:45 – 2:00 pm

Dr. Stephen J. Kopp is this year’s feature speaker.  A reception will follow.

September 23
Judge Dan O-Hanlon Constitution Week and John Marshall Celebration Essay competition Reception,  Marshall University
John Marshall Room, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

September 26
Civility in Practice:
7:00 PM Vienna Library, Wood county
League of Women Voters

Everyone bemoans the lack of civility these days, but few are ready to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.  Join the discussion on what we mean by civility and how we can begin to dialogue with those with whom we deeply disagree.  Leave with a deeper understanding of a current topic and with strategies to address difficult situations.
September 28 - 29
Civic Life Institute: Connecting People to Public Issues presented by the WV Center for Civic Life and Eastern WV Community Foundation

In this skill building interactive two day workshop, learn a process to move from community dialogue to action; master how to moderate community discussions of public issues; network with others around West Virginia issues such as prescription drug abuse, WV’s drop out challenge, increasing fitness and nutrition, and building strong, safe neighborhoods.

For more info:  Eastern WV Community Foundation, 304-264-0353

September 30 deadline
Youth in Government
Model UN
HI-Y Clubs

These experiential programs are among the best civic education experiences available for youth, but most schools in West Virginia don’t offer them.  An adult advisor needs to be willing to work with students through the annual process and attend final assemblies in which months of learning culminate in active participation in roles in state government or representing countries at the UN.
New programs may have a later deadline.

For more info:  Charlie Myers at HI-Y Leadership center,,  304-675-5899

October 11
Originalism and the Rule of Law Ideal: 
7:00 PM Don Morris Room at the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus of Marshall University
Lecture by Dr. Johnathan O’Neil Associate Professor of History at Georgia Southern University . Part of the Amicus Curiae Lecture Series on Constitutional Democracy

October 18
Home for Liberty
Part of the J.R. Clifford project, this dramatization of the founding of West Virginia will be produced by community members in Charleston.