We the People Volunteer Receives Liberty Bell Award
Congratulations to Robert B. Dyson Jr. on receiving the Indiana State Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award. The Liberty Bell Award celebrates community service that strengthens our system of freedom under law. Robert is very deserving of this award as he has been actively involved with the We the People program for the last 10 years, ever since his grandson participated in the program. Robert accompanied Fishers High School to the national competition in Washington, DC as a Unit I advisor, where they finished fourth in 2014 and sixth in 2016. Not only does he support the Fishers team, but he judges both regional and state competitions for middle and high school, and he participates in the Elementary Showcase and We the People Summer Institute.
We the People Summer Institute: Unprecedented Growth
The professional development program for We the People teachers, organized by the Foundation, underwent substantive growth this year. More than 70 teachers attended the training on constitutional history and law. "We are excited to have more teachers trained in this highly effective method for teaching history, government, and civics," said Collin Gruver, referring to the research that shows We the People alumni are more civically engaged, vote at higher rates than their peers, and are more tolerant of opposing opinions.
The Summer Institute also included scholars and mentor teachers. Thomas C. Mackey, a history professor at the University of Louisville, and Dr. David Adler, President of the Sun Valley Institute, lectured on constitutional history to elementary, middle, and high school teachers from five different states attending the professional development sessions.
High Needs Schools Included
The James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) contributed to this growth with more than 13 Indiana teachers from "high need" schools attending the training July 10-14, 2016. The Summer Institute started a second cohort of JMLP teachers with the first cohort completed this past spring. All JMLP teachers receive free professional development, textbooks, and assistance with competition expenses in exchange for taking a pre-test and post-test while participating in We the People professional development programs. JMLP research is focused on bringing the We the People curriculum to students in high-need schools.