On May 24th, sixth grade students Isabella Bica, Kailey Ciszek and Samantha Yolango from Northport Middle school, and Anjolina Buttacoli, Lily Eagan and Kate Karp from East Northport Middle School, attended the Project Citizen Showcase at the New York City Bar Association in Manhattan.
For this project, which the students completed in their Investigate classes, the students first identified an issue of public policy in their community which concerned them. They then researched their chosen problem, interviewing community members who assisted them in learning more about the issue. Additionally, the students worked to identify potential solutions by way of letter writing, emails, and phone calls. All sixth grade Investigate students had the opportunity to share their presentations at Touro Law School to a panel of civic minded judges.
After successfully presenting their projects “Ban Cat Declawing in New York” and “School Crossing Guards” at Touro Law Center among six other projects, these two groups of students were selected as having done exemplary work and were encouraged by NHS law teacher Mr. Scott to continue on to the Project Citizen Showcase.
The Project Citizen Showcase was coordinated by Debra Lesser, the executive director of the Justice Resource Center, an organization established in 1991 to develop, implement, and evaluate law-related education projects which impact positively on the school age population and enable students to learn about the functions of government, understand their roles and responsibilities as citizens, and develop a heightened respect for the law.
At the Showcase, students ranged from elementary to high school age. As their parents and Investigate teachers, Mrs. Bertos and Ms. Furstein looked on, each group had the opportunity to present their hard work to a panel of expert judges, and answer questions about their topic. The judges were impressed with the students’ hard work and in-depth knowledge of their chosen issues.
Students and teachers then gathered for the keynote speaker, Columbia law lecturer, Christopher Riano. Mr. Riano asked the audience, “Why do we do this?”
When called upon, Lily Egan replied, “Because it’s our community. It’s the place that we live. We want it to be the best that it can be for future generations!” Mr. Riano applauded her answer.
At the end of the showcase, Isabella, Kailey and Samantha received the “Best Designed PowerPoint” for their project. Students were excited and proud to receive their plaque to enthusiastic applause.
Congratulations to both groups of students for a job well done!