Michigan shines in national civic education spotlight


Michigan’s East Grand Rapids High School and East Kentwood High School represented the state at the recent virtual “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitutional” National Finals Competition, when 48 state top finishing teams gathered to showcase Constitutional knowledge through the form of a simulated Congressional Hearing.

Having finished first in the state, East Grand Rapids, led by instructor Adam Horos, also received a top Division Award. Also qualifying for the National Finals was the team from East Kentwood led by instructor Justin Robbins. Both schools represent U.S. Congressional District 3.

Both schools qualified for National based on their performance at the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE)’s state finals event in January. Additional schools included Marian High School, Marquette High School, and Richmond High School. Over 50 judges across the legal, governmental, political, and educational arenas evaluated the students in their Congressional testimony.

“We the People” is a classroom program designed to meet enhanced civic knowledge and provide sustained opportunities for students to delve deep into areas of interest. Research also demonstrates the unique effectiveness of this program to instill civic knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and eventual sustained civic engagement through a sense of civic agency. Students study general concepts and themes in the Constitution and then specialize in one particular unit of study.

The 6 units are:

- What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?

- How Did the Framers Create the Constitution?

-  How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?

-  How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped

American Institutions and Practices?

-  What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect?

-  What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-First Century?

“We the People” is a program of the Michigan Center for Civic Education that also hosts the Michigan High School Mock Trial series, Project Citizen, and more.

With the partnership at the State Bar of Michigan, MCCE will host the premier National High School Mock Trial Championship, May 5-7, 2022 in Kalamazoo, the first time Michigan has hosted the event.

Kalamazoo Central High School has been the most decorated Michigan Mock Trial team with numerous appearances in the final round and a national championship to its name. Volunteers are needed and sponsorships are available.

For more information, visit www.miciviced.org.

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