May 23, 2013
Hundreds of Philadelphia Students, Officials to Celebrate Innovative Citywide Classroom Civics Program May 30More than 100 students from Philadelphia public schools will join judges and leaders of the Philadelphia legal community on Thursday, May 30 at 9:30 a.m. at the James A. Byrne U.S. Courthouse at 601 Market St. in the Ceremonial Courtroom on the ground floor for a mock Supreme Court session to celebrate the success of the award-winning Advancing Civics Education (ACE) program. Launched in 2008 by the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association, ACE is a program in partnership with Philadelphia public schools and the National Constitution Center that brings teams of volunteer lawyers and judges into 5th grade and high school classrooms to provide supplemental civics education, including the fundamental principles of citizenship, democracy and dispute resolution. More than 150 volunteer attorneys and judges have already participated in ACE, with 14 high schools and three elementary schools being touched by the program. Recently, the Philadelphia Bar Association announced expansion of the program into local library branches during the Free Library of Philadelphia's summer literacy program.
At the May 30th event, students and volunteer teams will celebrate their hard work with a day of activities and programming based on the theme "Equality and Justice for All." Following a welcome by Third Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee, students will divide into groups for interactive sessions and a mini mock trial. At the conclusion of the day, certificates will be awarded for the students' year-long participation in ACE, and a National Constitution Center interactive presentation will take place. The program will conclude at 1:30 p.m.