This weekend a team of students from St. Thomas More High School will head to the We the People National Finals in Washington, DC. St. Thomas More’s team, coached by Jeannine Gibson, won the South Dakota We the People State Competition in Pierre last November and will compete against other state champions from around the nation.
The competition consists of a simulated congressional hearing with six units in which students answer questions about the interpretation of the Constitution. St. Thomas More will compete on Saturday and Sunday at the campus of George Mason University. Monday’s hearings will be held on Capitol Hill.
South Dakota’s We the People program is a school curriculum created by the Center for Civic Education and is based out of the Chiesman Center for Democracy in Rapid City. The curriculum utilizes a text for elementary, middle school, and high school students, teaching them about the United States Constitution. The culminating activity for students is participation in a simulated congressional hearing. Sponsors for the competition are the Chiesman Center for Democracy and the South Dakota Humanities Council.
For more information on the program, please call the Chiesman Center for Democracy at 605-341-4311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 17th Annual Kids Voting Liberty Ball Game raised a record-breaking $14,138 this week in Pierre. The South Dakota Senate and South Dakota House of Representatives took to the hardwood at Riggs High School to once again raise money for Kids Voting South Dakota, which teaches more than 31,000 South Dakota students about voting, democracy and citizenship.
The Senate came away victorious with a score of 135 – 110 over the House. However, Rep. Jim “The Rifleman” Bolin was the man of the evening in sinking 52 out of 60 free-throws, earning him the title of “Free-Throw Hotshot.” The Liberty Ball Game is a “fun” game with two quarters of alternate rules, allowing for purchased free-throws, call reversals, and team “hog housing.” In addition to raising funds for Kids Voting, the game brings a bit of levity to each legislative session with some good-natured competition.
On Nov. 19, students from across the state joined together for the 2013 South Dakota state We the People competition that was held at the State Capitol in Pierre.
The three participating schools in this annual event were St. Thomas More High School, Rapid City; Spearfish High School, Spearfish, and West Central High School, Hartford. St. Thomas More High School, coached by Jeannine Gibson, took top honors this year and will advance to the national competition in Washington, D.C. April 25 – 28, 2014.