Register Online for Bar Association and School District A.C.E. Program
The A.C.E. ProgramAdvancing Civics Education (A.C.E.) is a program launched by the Philadelphia Bar Association in partnership with public schools in Philadelphia to provide
supplemental civics education — in areas such as fundamental principles of citizenship, democracy and dispute resolution — to ninth-grade public school students.
Why civics education?
An understanding of civics, legal systems and civic participation is vital to the success of future generations. A.C.E. brings civics to life for
Philadelphia high school students. This effort will complement the hard work of teachers and principals to create a bridge from middle school to high school that focuses upon each citizen's rights and responsibilities within our community, our Commonwealth and our rapidly changing world.
What can I do?
Volunteer to join a team! You will have ample opportunity to touch the lives of students while enriching your own citizenship.
- Work with other volunteer judges and lawyers to engage students in critical thinking about concepts of justice, civil rights and civic duty.
- Connect with students one-on-one in the context of small group discussions, role plays and analysis of contemporary case law.
- Empower students with a better grasp of the inner workings of our legal system while developing their academic, civic and communication skills.
- Enhance dropout prevention by targeting ninth graders as they transition into high school.
- Lead by example and model active participation in government.
- Become involved in a meaningful way in the daily successes and challenges of public education.
- Compare the U.S. Constitutional model to other historical forms of governance.
- Expose students throughout the city to diverse attorneys and practice areas.
Attorneys can now register online for this program here.
The A.C.E. MissionThe A.C.E. Program injects fundamental principles of citizenship, democracy and dispute resolution into the existing ninth-grade public school curriculum in
Philadelphia and provides a fresh perspective on the core tenets that undergird our Constitutional legal system.
What can volunteer lawyers & judges expect?
Following a training in the summertime and background checks, volunteers will visit the same class once a month over the course of the school year. Using a simple, engaging civics curriculum woven into the ninth-grade world history course, small teams of volunteer lawyers and judges will build strong relationships with students as they encourage youth to reflect upon the vital role citizens play within our legal system. The time commitment required (training sessions, 9 to 10-hour long teaching sessions, and preparation time) is minimal when weighed against the impact that a volunteer can have as a mentor, teacher and community leader in the A.C.E. program.
The Philadelphia Bar Association's Ad Hoc Committee for Public School Education is partnering with administrators from the School District of Philadelphia to develop an appropriate program curriculum and bring A.C.E. into ninth-grade classrooms.
For more information about the A.C.E., including a list of Frequently Asked Questions, check the Bar Association's Public School Education Committee Web page.