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Early College High School and Northwood Middle School win S.C. Bar Project Citizen Program

April 29, 2014

COLUMBIA (April 29, 2014)—Students from HCS Early College High School and Northwood Middle School have won the S.C. Bar Law Related Education (LRE) 2014 Project Citizen Championship at their respective competition levels. This year marks Early College’s third win and Northwood’s first.

Students from Early College High School created a project that addressed the need for increased penalties for underage drinking. Participating students include Tamera Bellamy, Kristen Caulder, Christopher Johnson, Jamar McCalla, Alissa Meza, Anne Miller, McKenna Palmer, Zemira Pearson, Zy’Heem Ray, Samantha Slack, Madison Suggs, Tatianna Williams, Candice Young and Cedric Young.

"It never ceases to amaze me at how hard the students work when they find a topic that they are truly passionate about researching," said Samantha Lohr, Early College's lead teacher. "The Project Citizen curriculum is truly a student-centered and student-driven program that gives students the opportunity to do what they do best…learn!"

Northwood Middle School students created the project “Don’t Text Your Life,” which addresses the dangers of texting and cell phone use while driving and possible ways to stop it. Participating students include Ashton Best, Olivia Chapman, Hallie Daniel, Davonte Gary, Hannah Guerrant, Sydney Holloway, Yah'miah Israel, Calista Jenkins, Jacob Johnson, Dylan Jones, Aveya Kneese, Justin Le, Michael Mabry, Robert Matthews, Mary McInerney, Ny-gel Morgan, Taz Nelson, Jacob Pegues, Ronald Reyes, Roberto Sanchez, Lauren Shaw, Taylor Tackett, Debby Thomas, Morgan Waldon, Maddy Weathers, Kayonna Wilson and Andrew Yoon.

“The challenge of coming up with a solution that was partially created by the students, with only similar attempts by other states to guide their decisions, was a great lesson for my students in the study of federalism and the role of state and local governments,” said Donna Confere, Northwood’s lead teacher.

Project Citizen encourages students to research a public policy they believe should be revised or created. The in-school presentations allowed students the opportunity to present their understanding of public policy by identifying an issue either in their school, community or state that was to be addressed. By doing so, they learn what it means to be effective citizens and are inspired to make changes in their communities. As a result of participation in the program, students are more likely to be active, educated and engaged citizens.

Project Citizen can be taught in all subjects in upper elementary through grade 12 to include community groups and after school programs. Project Citizen was created by and is supported through a grant from the Center for Civic Education. Free trainings and summer institutes are available to teachers throughout the state. For additional information on Project Citizen and other law related education programs hosted by the S.C. Bar LRE Division, contact Cynthia Cothran at (803) 252-5139 or ccothran@scbar.org.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 15,000 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

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