May 18, 2009
Contact: Hayley Ivins 602-773-3432
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                                                 For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release                                                         Lara Slifko, (602) 340-7235
May 29th, 2009                                                                     [email protected]
Both Trinity Lutheran School and Lineweaver Elementary School Recognized
[Phoenix, AZ] –On Friday May 8th, over 200 students from across Arizona presented their public policy work at the statewide Project Citizen Showcase. The presentations had issues ranging from the environment to animal cruelty. The students presented portfolios displaying a summary of their project and student teams gave oral presentations in support of their public policy ideas before panels of volunteer judges. While not identified as a competition, two schools were recognized for their achievements in portfolio display and oral presentation of their project before judges. In recognition of their achievements with the Project Citizen program the following schools were awarded top honors:
Project Citizen Statewide Showcase Award for Oral Hearings
Trinity Lutheran School
“Is Plastic that Fantastic?”
Lori Stadler, Teacher
Project Citizen Statewide Showcase Award for Portfolio
Lineweaver Elementary School
“Convenience Catastrophe: Plastic Bag Pollution”
Heather Matchett, Teacher
The over 50 judges at the Project Citizen Showcase, representing civic and community leaders, listened to the students’ presentations and provided feedback to help them better understand the democratic process of change. One judge, Marga Warnicke, a doctoral student at ASU’s Public Administration School noted, “I was excited by how what these young students were doing mirrored what I was learning as a doctoral student.”
“Project Citizen really highlights these young students’ ability to think critically, clearly articulate their ideas, and engage in their local communities,” stated Hayley Ivins, Program Specialist for the Foundation. “The problems they choose to tackle are quite remarkable – everything from domestic violence and animal cruelty to pollution and crosswalks for their school.”  Other schools and their portfolios included:

Parkview Middle School (Prescott Valley)
“Be Safe, Put a Crosswalk in Place”
Glassford Hill Middle School (Prescott Valley)
“Gang Tagging”
Landmark Middle School (Glendale)
“Stop the Violence”
Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies (Mesa)
“Animal Shelters”
Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies (Mesa)
“Teenage Drug Use in Phoenix”
Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies (Mesa)
“Criminal Relocation”
Rhodes Junior High School (Mesa)
“Domestic Violence”
Rhodes Junior High School (Mesa)
“African Hunger Donation Drive”

About Project Citizen:  Project Citizen is portfolio-based civic education project for middle grade students sponsored nationally by the Center for Civic Education (CCE) and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). It is supported locally by the Arizona Legislature and the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education. The program teaches young people to monitor and influence public policy. Students work cooperatively to identify a public 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 an oral hearing before a panel of civic-minded community volunteers.
About the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education
The Foundation provides technical and financial assistance to legal aid organizations, schools and community groups working toward “access to justice for all Arizonans” through law-related education and free legal services. The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education plays a leading role in preparing Arizona students for civic responsibility. The Foundation reaches more than 100,000 children each year by training teachers, school resource officers and probation officers about our laws, justice system and the foundations of democracy. It is also home of, America’s first Web site dedicated to teaching students about the law.
Helpful Websites/More Information:
·       Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education:
·       Arizona Project Citizen:
·       Arizona State Legislature:
·       Center for Civic Education (CCE):
·       National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL):
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