09:41 AM

Middle School Students Go to Court for Civics Symposium

Who: 25 gifted and talented students in the 5th – 8th grades.What: California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), the San Diego Superior Court and the North County Bar Association have partnered together to offer the On My Honor: Civics Symposium for Students, a hands on interactive program in which students prepare and present a case with attorneys and judges while learning and engaging in the judicial process. When: Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5, 2011: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.Where: Classes take place at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) and at the Vista Superior Court.Why: To teach students about the role of the judicial branch through interaction with judges, lawyers and court staff. Among the many activities, participants will prepare a case with attorneys and judges,Additional:     “Students will be taking on roles for a court case that will require them to investigate, research, create questions for the prosecution, defendants, consider testimonies and develop closing arguments,” said CSUSM Associate Professor Fran Chadwick as she explained the symposium. “We are excited about this program and are pleased that we have the opportunity to offer it through our partnership with The North County Bar Association and the Superior Court/Vista Branch. The students can look forward to an authentic learning experience as they explore the third branch of government.”“The court has recognized that it has a responsibility to reach out to and educate the community about the workings of the court,” said Judge Richard Cline. “The On My Honor Civics Symposium is one small vehicle that tends to address the concerns of the court. We welcome this program and others like it. We applaud the fact that the students who attend are excited about their exposure to the law and the workings of the court.”The symposium is funded through a grant from the North County Bar Association and a $275 per student fee. Educators are Gregg Primeaux of the Garden Grove School District and Heidi Scholdtfelt of Spencer Valley School District.The program is limited to 25 students and is now full. Applications are no longer being accepted, however names will be taken for priority consideration for next summer. Scholarships are offered for qualified students.Photo Opportunity: Media are invited to attend class at CSUSM on August 3 and 4 when attorneys are actively coaching students. Media are also invited to attend closing arguments on August 5 at the Vista Superior Court. Contact Christine Vaughan at 760-750-4407 or 760-419-0367 (mobile) for information on times and specific locations.