Ever year I help coach the Hamilton Southeastern High School We the People team, not only am I impressed with the next generation of young people, but I usually have at least two sets of parents come to me privately to tell me what a transforming exerperience it has been for thier children. Before We the People, the young people were typical high school students, but as they learned the We the People concepts and speaking skills, they became engaged with what matters in our world and showed the ability to think for themselves about the big ideas and to engage anyone in respectful discussion about those ideas. The only way to improve this program is to make it available to more students and schools.
Hon. Paul D. Mathias, Court of Appeals of Indiana
"Let We the People be an indication of what education could be in Indiana. Civic education could change the lives of countless young Hoosiers, as it has mine."
Matt Skiba, We the People student, Munster High School, 2010 National Finals Team
At my school, We the People competition has become the "culminating moment" when our students demonstrate the value of a St. Richard's education. The program brings together most of the skills we want them to have before we send them off to 9th grade: researching and writing, public speaking, poise under fire, critical thinking, learning to disagree agreeably, and being quick on their feet. If we could design a curriculum that was age appropriate and engaging from the textbook to the hearing fromat to the professional development support provided teachers. Our parents who attend the hearings leave with mouths ajar over what their children have learned, can explain, and can apply to their own lives and current events.
Andrea Neal, We the People teacher, St. Richard's School, Indianapolis
“Through the educational experiences of the We the People program, our students of today not only become involved, informed citizens of tomorrow, but develop life skills like teamwork, poise, public speaking, work ethic and responsibility. We the People is an important component of today’s educational curriculum and must continue into the future.”
Amy P. Walker, Executive Director, Public Education Foundation of Evansville, Inc.
Students' responses to the We the People program:
The most important thing I learned about the Constitution...
...all of the rights and freedoms that I have as a citizen. I also didn't know that our Constitution is so important. (Margaret)
...the freedoms we have as citizens. (Brad)
...there is a governement for one purpose--to protect our rights. (Andrew)
...there are limitations to the freedom of speech. (Evan)
...it can be changed if needed. There are different articles and sections, and it is not just one big "speech or essay" (Megan).
The most important thing I learned about myself...
...I always have the right to disagree and that I have good thinking and speaking abilities. (Patrick)
...if I really set my mind to something I can achieve it and that a lot of hard work really pays off. (Megan)
...I have the ability to work seriously (Kyle)
...I worked better with people than I thought I would (Cortney)