Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

October 1, 2020

CONTACT:

Maria Gallo
Center for Civic Education
917-705-7151


Center for Civic Education Launches Special “60-Second Civics” Series to Encourage Voting

President Christopher R. Riano Celebrates Our National Elections with a Special Edition of Our Signature Daily Program



60-Second Civics Voting SeriesWASHINGTON — 
The Center for Civic Education has launched a nationwide initiative to focus its signature daily program, “60-Second Civics,” on the right to vote in the weeks leading up to the November 3 national elections.  Each day, 60-Second Civics will feature a podcast focused on elections, voting, representation and how those rights are protected under the Constitution.

“At the Center for Civic Education, we believe it is critical to ensure that all people have access to civics lessons that speak to our moment and bring to life constitutional principles like the power of voting,” said President Christopher R. Riano. “The ballot box is the cornerstone of our democracy, and I encourage every American to exercise our most fundamental right this year.”

60-Second Civics is a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the Constitution and our history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the constitutional issues behind the headlines and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history.

Each 60-Second Civics podcast episode will be accompanied by a Daily Civics Quiz, which teachers can use with the podcast as a warmup activity at the start of their history, government or social studies classes. The podcast will also include an audiogram, which is a captioned video animation of each episode. You can find the entire 60-Second Civics playlist on YouTube.

About the Center for Civic Education

The Center for Civic Education is the nation’s largest civic and constitutional education organization and is dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy. The Center has reached more than 30 million students and their teachers since 1965. Learn more.

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https://civiced.org/60-second-civics

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Center for Civic Education Launches Special “60-Second Civics” Series to Encourage Voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

September 24, 2020

CONTACT:

Maria Gallo
Center for Civic Education
917-705-7151


Christopher Riano Shares Knowledge of Constitution with Trumbull High School We the People Team

Center for Civic Education President Helps Young Scholars Prepare for Civics Competition



TRUMBULL, Ct. —
Center for Civic Education President Christopher R. Riano spoke to Katie Boland’s class at Trumbull High School in Connecticut recently to share his knowledge of the Constitution with the class of budding constitutional scholars. The students are preparing for the Connecticut state competition in We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, a program of the Center that teaches students about the fundamentals of the American Constitution and system of government. 

“Today’s class with Mr. Riano was honestly such a breath of fresh air. It was so amazing to hear what working in constitutional law is like firsthand from a true professional in the field,” said student Georgia Perlah, a senior at Trumbull. “The opportunity to connect with people like Mr. Riano and ask him my own questions was incredible; I learned so much more than I anticipated I would in just a 45 minute class period.”

“It was inspiring to see the incredible dedication that the class put into their Constitution Day videos, which left little question in my mind that I wanted to see first hand how hard they have all been working, especially in the current classroom environment,” said Riano, who also serves as a lecturer in constitutional law and government at Columbia University.  “Students like Ms. Boland’s are the future of the nation, and as the Center’s president it is my distinct honor to have had the chance to celebrate their accomplishments and to answer their questions about constitutional law and civic education. I look forward to having the chance to speak with other classes around the country in the months and years ahead!” 

In what has become an annual tradition, Boland’s We the People students created a video for their school on Constitution Day, September 17, that was aired in all Trumbull High School classrooms. Other We the People teachers learned about the video through social media and shared it in their classrooms. In the video, Boland’s students, some sporting COVID-era face masks, explain the significance of Constitution Day and what the nation’s founding document means to them. They also recite the Preamble to the Constitution.

The students also created a music video inspired by “Hamilton,” the musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“My students completely surprised me with the Constitution music video. The best part of it was seeing the excitement in their faces as I watched their work. It was such a special moment that brought me to tears and made me so proud of our future voters,” said Boland. “We always say that our country is in good hands with our youth. I can attest to that statement with utmost certainty!” 

Boland has been involved with We the People since 2008. She has taught We the People at Trumbull since 2012, where her students have won state We the People championship titles in eight of the past nine years. 

To learn more about We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, visit www.civiced.org/wethepeople.

  Christopher Riano Shares Knowledge of the Constitution with Trumball High School We the People Team


Social Studies Innovation Network Releases Collection of Remote-Learning Resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2020

CONTACT:

Maria Gallo
Center for Civic Education
805-904-7411

Social Studies Innovation Network Releases Collection of Remote-Learning Resources

Research-Based Innovations Are Ready Now for Remote- and Blended-Learning and Teaching of Social Studies


LOS ANGELES — The Social Studies Innovation Network has released “Social Studies Distance-Learning Resources, 2020-2021,” a collection of interactive websites, games, and curricular materials that can be used by social studies teachers in blended- and remote-learning settings, as well as in in-person classrooms. The Social Studies Innovation Network is a recently formed group of curriculum and learning-game developers dedicated to advancing innovative approaches in the teaching and learning of social studies content.

The Center for Civic Education is a charter member of the Social Studies Innovation Network. The collection includes the Center’s Learn.civiced.org remote-learning platform, which features two free online resources for teachers: the We the People Open Course and the Strengthening Democracy in America online course and video series.

“One of the core challenges facing social studies teachers is the lack of teaching and learning materials that are backed by research,” said Christopher R. Riano, president of the Center for Civic Education. “This collection fills that gap. We are delighted to contribute our Learn.civiced.org teacher professional development courses, including the We the People Open Course, which is backed by research conducted by Georgetown University professor Diana Owen and her team at the Civic Education Research Lab.”

Most of the resources featured in the guide are backed by research demonstrating their feasibility for implementation and promise for supporting student learning.

Civics games feature prominently in the collection. The Center on Representative Government at Indiana University contributed “Engaging Congress,” a free game that uses primary sources from the Library of Congress to explore how representative government works.

Fablevision Games included its new resource, “Civics! An American Musical,” a web-based roleplaying game for middle schoolers that teach students about school desegregation, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and topics.

The guide also features iCivics, an educational organization founded by former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that offers 20 digital games, 18 WebQuests, a 10-step action civics unit, and more than 140 lesson plans.

To download the free guide, “Social Studies Distance-Learning Resources, 2020-2021,” visit https://files.civiced.org/pdfs/SSIN/DistanceLearningResources2020.pdf
.

Social Studies Distance-Learning Resources, 2020-2021

Christopher R. Riano Appointed as the Next Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 1, 2020

CONTACT:

Pauline A. Weaver
Chair, Board of Directors
510-468-1753

Christopher R. Riano Appointed as the Next Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education


Riano Succeeds Charles N. "Chuck" Quigley, who has been at the helm of CCE for over 50 Years


LOS ANGELES — The Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Education is delighted to announce the appointment of Christopher R. Riano as the Center's next Executive Director. He will succeed Charles N. "Chuck" Quigley, who served as Executive Director of the Center's predecessor, the Committee on Civic Education, at the University of California at Los Angeles in 1965 and most recently for the Center after it became an independent organization in 1981. Chuck is broadly recognized as one of the most prominent curriculum and program developers in the field of civic education. The Board is extremely grateful for Chuck's decades of civic contributions.

The Executive Director leads the Center's work in promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy within the United States and in dozens of other countries around the world.

"After an extensive public search and canvass of the Center's extraordinary network, and following the consideration of many highly qualified individuals, we are pleased to announce the selection of Christopher R. Riano," said Pauline Weaver, President of the Board of Directors. "He is charged with upholding the Center's mandate to improve and expand civic education opportunities for all Americans and for citizens of emerging and established democracies around the world."

Riano brings a vigorous vision for the future as well as demonstrated experience working, lecturing, and writing extensively about the intersection of legal theory and systems of constitutional law, including his work serving as a lecturer in constitutional law and government at Columbia University. He also brings practical experience fostering democratic principles, including his prior service as an Administrative Law Judge in the State of New York and as an Assistant Counsel to the Governor of the State of New York for the Arts, Education, and Constitutional Law. He has volunteered for many years with the Justice Resource Center in New York City, a long-time Center for Civic Education partner organization, and he has served as a scholar for several programs at the Center for Civic Education, most recently at the Center's American History & Civics Academies. He has also served as a Judge for the Center's We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program in local, state, and national competitions and as a Judge for We the People: Project Citizen. His first book on the constitutional history of the marriage equality movement, co-authored with William N. Eskridge, Jr. of Yale Law School, is forthcoming from Yale University Press in August 2020. Christopher holds a Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University.

"It is a tremendous privilege to assume leadership of the Center for Civic Education at a time in our history that calls for renewed focus on civic principles. I am thrilled to carry forward the pioneering work that the Center has led for more than fifty years and I look forward to building on its critically important mission in the decades ahead." said Mr. Riano.

In support of Riano's appointment, Chuck Quigley added, "We have accomplished so much over the past years, and I am very pleased that I will be able to continue to support the Center as a senior consultant developing curricular programs. I want to express my gratitude to our network leaders across the globe for making the Center for Civic Education the leading organization that it is. I look forward to supporting Mr. Riano in his new role and am very optimistic about this next chapter of the Center's work."

Mr. Riano will assume the position of Executive Director on June 1, 2020.

 (Press Release) May 1, 2020 

Winning Back the School Year

Denied a Trip to D.C. Due to Coronavirus, Students Tackle Tough Issues in Nationwide Online Civics Competition

LOS ANGELES — The end of April traditionally marks one of the largest competitions on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the country. The annual We the People National Finals, administered by the Center for Civic Education, was scheduled to take place April 26-28. In a normal year, more than a thousand high school students along with their teachers, administrators and families gather in Washington, D.C., for the competition.

This is no ordinary year, thanks to COVID-19. Rather than converging on Washington, D.C., more than 600 students will meet on Zoom in the rebranded We the People National Finals Challenge. The students, who represent 30 schools, will be competing from their homes in every region of the country, from Alabama to Oregon. The National Finals challenge is giving them hope, a reason to stay engaged and motivated in a world abruptly redefined by social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

The National Finals Challenge will be held on Saturday, April 25, and Sunday, April 26. Students will demonstrate their knowledge of constitutional issues before competition judges composed of constitutional scholars, lawyers, historians and public officials. Students completed a comprehensive course of study on the Constitution to qualify for the competition, and most schools won their state competitions.

Results of the competition will be posted on Monday night, April 27, at 8:00 pm ET on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/CenterforCivicEducation/.

More information about the We the People National Finals Challenge is available at
https://www.civiced.org/2020-national-finals-challenge.

More information about the Center for Civic Education is available at https://www.civiced.org/

Open for News Coverage

To avoid disruption of the hearings and facilitate news coverage, please contact Robert Leming at 805-890-4059, Rebecca Reeder (260) 615-7745 or Maria Gallo at 805-904-7411 to arrange entrance into an online hearing room.

Winner of National Constitution & Bill of Rights Competition Announced

April 29, 2019

CONTACT: 
Robert Leming (805) 890-4059, Maria Gallo (805) 904-7411, Mark Molli (818) 916-7695

Washington, April 29, 2019 — After three days of simulated congressional hearings that tested their knowledge of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, three schools took top honors at the 32nd Annual We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals.

The National Winner: Denver East High School, Colorado  Teachers: Susan McHugh & Matt Fulford

Second Place: Amador Valley High School, California  Teacher: Stacey Sklar

Third Place: Grant High School, Oregon (wild card)  Teacher:  Angela DiPasquale

A total of 56 classes representing 44 states came to the nation’s capital to participate in the academic competition where students demonstrate their knowledge of the Constitution before simulated congressional committees made up of state supreme court judges, constitutional scholars, lawyers, public officials and We the People alumni.

The panel of judges tested the expertise of the classes on the six units of the “We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution” textbook: What Are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System? How Did the Framers Create the Constitution? How Has the Constitution Been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence? How Have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices? What Rights Does the Bill of Rights Protect? and What Challenges Might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-first Century?

More information on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program is available at http://www.civiced.org/national-finals-2019 and http://www.civiced.org/programs/wtp.  

The We the People Program is administered by the Center for Civic Education. More information about the Center can be found at http://www.civiced.org. 

The 2019 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution National Finals is partially funded by the tremendous effort of teachers, students, parents, and We the People state coordinators to secure community sponsors.

The competition results were announced at an awards ceremony Monday evening before an audience of more than 1,400 students, teachers, coordinators, judges and other program participants. The Award Ceremony, held at the National Constitution Center, included speakers Tom Kilgannon of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service and John Tinker of the John F. Tinker Foundation. John and Mary Beth Tinker were part of the landmark Supreme Court case of Tinker v Des Moines Independent Community School District (1969).

For a list of all the awards and winning schools please visit http://www.civiced.org/2019-finals-awards.


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