Competition Showcases Students’ Public Policy Initiatives Governor Proclaims April 25th “Project Citizen Day”

April 24, 2003
Contact: Mira Radovich, Communications (602) 340-7293
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PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 24, 2003) - Students from eight Arizona schools will compete for the state title in the “We the People…Project Citizen” competition on Friday, April 25, 2003. “Project Citizen” is a civics program sponsored by the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, designed to teach 5-8th grade students problem-solving skills and community involvement.

Ten classes at eight Arizona middle schools have spent part of the school year identifying problems in their communities and developing proposals to solve the problems. The issues addressed by the students include drought, stray animals, bullies and abortion.

The students will present their ideas during the state showcase of “Project Citizen,” which will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, on April 25, at the Black Canyon Conference Center, 9440 N. 25th Avenue, in Phoenix.

At the competition the students will participate in a simulated public hearing during which they deliver a timed, oral presentation to a panel of judges. The judges, made up of educators, legislators, community members, judges and attorneys, will critique the presentations on clarity, persuasiveness and constitutionality.

Arizona’s winning “Project Citizen” portfolio will be sent for judging to the National Conference for State Legislators annual meeting July 22-25, 2003, in San Francisco.

As a special presentation, a third grade class from Copper Rim Elementary School in Globe will showcase its proposal dealing with bullies in their community.

Recognizing that the Project Citizen program teaches students about creating public policy while promoting civic responsibility, Governor Janet Napolitano has proclaimed April 25th as “Project Citizen Day.”

The eight classes participating in the state “Project Citizen” competition are:
· Cholla Middle School – Phoenix
· East Globe - Globe
· Hambly – Hayden/Winkleman
· Holy Angels (5th Grade) – Globe
· Holy Angels (6th Grade – Globe
· Lee Kornegay – Miami
· Madison # 1 Middle School – Phoenix
· Mansfeld Middle School – Tucson
· Miami Jr./Sr. High Class – Miami
· Miami Jr./Sr. High Class – Miami

About the Foundation
The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education plays a leading role in preparing Arizona students for civic responsibility. The Foundation educates more than 100,000 children by training teachers, school resource officers and probation officers about our laws, justice system and the foundations of democracy. It is also the home of, America’s first Web site dedicated to teaching students about the law. The Foundation also grants funds to non-profit organizations that provide free legal assistance to the poor so all people in Arizona can have a voice in our justice system.