District winners advance to state level in Virginia’s ‘We the People’ competition
Some of Virginia’s brightest students representing 10 middle school and 11 high school teams from 15 localities have been named finalists in the "We The People: the Citizen and the Constitution" district competitions and are moving on to the state-wide competitions held on February 7–8 at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites in Williamsburg, VA. Contestants will vie for the State Champion title; high school champions have the opportunity to compete for a spot in the national finals held at the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill in April.
“We the People” is a national program based on an award-winning, nonpartisan curriculum that helps students understand the history and principles of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The competition consists of simulated congressional hearings in which students serve as expert witnesses on topics including the Bill of Rights and citizenship, and then testify in small groups before a panel of judges acting as U.S. congressional representatives. The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier hosts the program in Virginia and Washington, D.C. and offers free professional development seminars to teachers who are interested in the curriculum each summer. Since its inception in 1987, more than 28 million students and 75,000 educators nationwide have participated in the "We the People" programs sponsored by the curriculum authors, the Center for Civic Education. Read more about the competition here.
“The 'We the People' program is part of Montpelier's initiative to elevate civic awareness and engagement among our youth. The state finals is an incredibly inspiring event with students from around the Commonwealth defending their perspectives of the U.S. Constitution before lawyers and judges using the words of Madison, the Federalist Papers, and key court cases,” says Doug Smith, Vice President of Montpelier’s Center for the Constitution. “Nothing restores your hope in the American identity like seeing the next great generation of leaders embracing America’s most important guiding document.”
Media outlets are encouraged to announce the district finalists below in your local news sections and to cover the event on February 7–8. Access will be provided to shoot photos and videos and to interview participants. Interviews with teachers from participating schools can also be arranged.
Virginia’s "We the People" state championship will be held in Colonial Williamsburg at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites, 105 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA. High schools will compete February 7; middle schools will compete February 8. The event attracts more than 400 people each day over two days. It is free and open to the public. A complete schedule of events is available upon request.