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Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary scores "superior" at national conference

September 14, 2011

COLUMBIA (Sept. 13, 2011) – Students from Lonnie B. Nelson Elementary School’s Academy for Civic Engagement in Columbia received a Superior Level ranking by the Center for Civic Education and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) for their project “Bullying is Cruel, Don’t Do It in School.”

After winning the S.C. Bar’s 2011 Project Citizen Showcase, the students’ project was evaluated by state legislators attending NCSL’s Legislative Summit. “Superior” is the highest level of ranking that can be obtained in the national competition. Students from South Carolina have received the highest ranking five times.

"I am so proud of the work my students have done,” said Courtney Long, the project’s lead teacher. “Through collaboration, critical thinking and creative problem solving, my students created a project that shows the power of student voice.”

This year’s project, which identified five alternative solutions to address bullying in school, was prepared by Steven Andreen, YeChan Bang, Clarkson Broadwater, Taylor Bryant, David Burns, Patrick Davis, Lina Downs, Gaby Freeman, Grace Harding, Annie Kim, Ariel Long, Ashley McMurray, Kyle Rogers, Quintin Singleton, DJ Skelton, Jalen Squire, Laura Stuart, Mickenzie Thompson and Zachary Williams. The lead teacher was Courtney Long.

“Bullying has become a major problem in our schools,” said Long. “The policy [they] created could help alleviate this growing issue and make our schools a more positive place to be."

Project Citizen encourages students to research a public policy they believe should be revised or created. By doing so, they learn to be effective citizens and are inspired to make changes in their communities. Each portfolio entered in the showcase includes an identified problem, three proposed alternative polices, a class policy and an action plan.

Project Citizen is supported though a grant from the Center for Civic Education. Free trainings and summer institutes are available to teachers throughout the state. For additional information on Project Citizen and other law related education programs supported by the S.C. Bar LRE Division, contact Cynthia Cothran at (903) 252-5139 or ccothran@scbar.org.

The Bar’s LRE Division, which was developed to improve the ability of teachers to instruct law related education, has been part of the Bar since 1976.

The South Carolina Bar, which has a membership of more than 13,500 lawyers, is dedicated to advancing justice, professionalism and understanding of the law.

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