DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY BORN at Milton High School!
DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY BORN
DEMOCRACY/CIVICS education ought to be required to earn a high school diploma in Wisconsin! I am proud of the fact that our Milton School District is one of the very few districts that has this requirement as I learned while serving on the WI Department of Public Instruction’s “WI Civics Action Task Force” in 1999-2000 that over 90%, including the Janesville School District, of the school districts in WI do NOT have such a requirement! The health and future of our republic depends on such democracy/civics education!
AND NOW, Milton High School’s AP US Government & Politics teacher, VAL CROFTS is enriching that democracy/civics education by launching a political science field study to Washington, DC based on his own experience as a Parker student in my AP US Government & Politics course with WASHINGTON SEMINAR in 1989. I am VERY PROUD of Val and our Milton School District!
This coming Saturday, March 27, twenty-eight (28) Milton High School students will leave on the Inaugural Discovering Democracy field study, which will be studying and living in the nation’s capital from March 28 through April 1 with AP US Government & Politics teacher, VAL CROFTS as the founder/director.
Many of you have read about this democracy/civics education program developed by VAL in Stan Milam’s “Milton High School teacher initiates AP government course: Former Parker graduate was part of seminar program” and/or heard Stan Milam’s interview with VAL on THE STAN MILAM SHOW.. Listen through the first part of this segment - the interview comes... I PROMISE! It is well worth hearing, so worth the wait!
TRULY it is a very significant fulfillment for me to have Val developing the in-depth political science field study idea and format for his own Milton high school students starting at the end of this week. I commend Val and sincerely wish him and his students a very productive, meaningful and inspiring DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY!
(Yes, I am praying God’s guidance & help, encouragement & blessings for all of them – each and every one! While one is NOT constitutionally allowed to have prayers in public schools, there has never been a US Supreme Court decision prohibiting students from praying OR for teachers to pray OR for parents/grandparents/friends to pray, so I am PRAYING for the Discovering Democracy group.)
I am also PRAYING for the 38th annual WASHINGTON SEMINAR which is in Washington, DC on field study this week – March 20 – 27.
STAN MILAM has been a key investor in WASHINGTON SEMINAR as he has since the late 1990’s worked conscientiously with commitment to provide enriching experiences for the Seminar students through his extensive professional network in Washington, DC. STAN deserves major credit and significant GRATITUDE for his volunteer work to maintain the democracy/civics education program which is WASHINGTON SEMINAR. Stan has worked supportively with AP US Government & Politics teacher at Parker High School since 2000-2001, Joe Van Rooy.
Many of you will have read the details, including the list of the students about the 2010 WASHINGTON SEMINAR through Stan’s articles in last Saturday’s (3/20) Gazette, “Mom’s memory acts as motivator” and “Economy forces changes to Washington Seminar.” One should add to the financial report on WASHINGTON SEMINAR that thanks to the advice and guidance of ALAN DUNWIDDIE years ago, funds were set up with the Community Foundation of Southern WI, including: a general WASHINGTON SEMINAR fund with contributions from alumni & friends of the Seminar, the RICK HERRIOT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP FUND for democracy/civics education and the LES ASPIN FUND which was started with a bequest from the estate of the late Representative of our US House District #1 and long-time advocate for and supporter of WASHINGTON SEMINAR, Les Aspin.
DISCOVERING DEMOCRACY BORN at Milton High School - Part II - Wanting to blog about both Discovering Democracy and WASHINGTON SEMINAR, I found out there is a limit on blog space... so, NOW, here is part II of this posting.
Contributions to these funds are always welcomed by WASHINGTON SEMINAR and are to be sent to the Community Foundation of Southern WI – For additional information, call: 608-758-0883. These contributions are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
IF you did NOT read Stan’s informative article about "Discovering Democracy," here are some key points.
The students have researched significant public issues including: The War in Afghanistan, Renewable Energy Resources, The Patriot Act - see the list of students with their topics below.
Their field study is scheduled to include: an audience with Supreme Court Justice Scalia, Question and Answer sessions with members of Congress and their staff members, lobbyists, and other key figures within their topic areas. Discovering Democracy will also experience tours of the Pentagon, the Capitol Building, and the White House, set up by Congressman Paul Ryan. The group will also visit the National Archives, Ford’s Theater, the Smithsonian Museum, the Holocaust Museum, the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA, Arlington Cemetery, and spend an afternoon at Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.
Discovering Democracy will enjoy the theater culture of Washington, attending a performance of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Ford’s Theater. “Little Shop” has a local interest, due to the fact that several Discovering Democracy students were involved in Milton High School’s production of the show in 2008.
Traveling by Van Galder coach, the group leaves Saturday, March 27 and returns Friday, April 2.
The 2010 Discovering Democracy staff includes: Val Crofts, Founder/Director. John Holt, School District of Milton Network Administrator. Carrie Roach, Guidance Counselor and AP Coordinator at Milton High School. Marcella Demulling, Special Education Teacher for the District of Milton. Courtney Frey, senior at Milton High School, photographer. Amy Diestler, senior at Milton High School, Facebook administrator. (IF you are on Facebook, use search for “Discovering Democracy.)
Students listed with their topics: Rick Fassl – The USA Patriot Act, Elizabeth Camenga – Characteristics of Supreme Court Chief Justices, Amy Diestler – National Security in the Middle East, Katie Miller – The Controversy Surrounding Abortion, Katelyn Kraimer – Child Abuse, Kelly Raufman – War in Afghanistan, Talon Jensen – The USA Patriot Act and Personal Privacy, Caitlyn Mumm – The European Union and US Relations, Torey Fish – Global Terrorism, Brianne Vanacker – Renewable Resources, Madison McCarthy –, The Acceptance of the Islamic Faith in the US, Dakota Williams – Homosexual Rights Involving Marriage, Brandon Farnsworth – Alternative Energy Resources in America, Alec Vicenzi – Controversy in Internet Censorship, Jeff Mehlert – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy, Jacob Warnlof – Capital Punishment, Jacob Kincade – Nuclear Energy, Courtney Frey – Global War on Terror, Amanda Schoeberle – FBI Procedures and Abuses, Sam Guenther – Same-Sex Marriage Legislation, Corinne Lyke – National Debt and Credit, Ethan Chesmore – Economic Correlation Between the US and China, Nathan Chesmore – Health Care Reform, Jordan Brovick – Government Involvement in the Economy , Michelle Winters – The Food and Drug Administration, Brian Lukas – The War in Afghanistan, Trevor Parr – Gun Control, Tolani Blagogee – Global Warming.
As a new democracy/civics education program, Discovering Democracy needs public support. IF you are willing and able, your contribution to “Discovering Democracy” can be sent to: Mr. Val Crofts, Milton High School, 114 W. High St – Milton, WI 53563 with check made out to “Milton High School” and memo, “Discovering Democracy.” Contributions are tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the extent of the law. I hope YOU will join me in providing support – prayerful as well as financial – to Discovering Democracy.
Spring is here... here we go...
John Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Waukesha and an advocate for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.