Expanding education about the U.S. Constitution for Indiana youth links the 2012 awards for civic education. The Indiana Bar Foundation (Foundation) has selected three individuals and one organization for recognition of their service to civic education in Indiana. Fort Wayne’s Rebecca Reeder, a retired teacher, and the Allen County Bar Foundation will both receive awards. Anita Griffin, St. John, a retired teacher, and Julie Newhouse, a Rushville attorney, were also honored. Awards were presented Dec. 17-18 at the We The People state finals closing ceremonies at the Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis, Campus Center.
Rushville attorney Julie Newhouse was recognized with a William G. Baker Award.
Newhouse helped the Indiana Bar Foundation secure a $10,000 grant from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The grant will fund professional development for 25 new teachers in the We The People curriculum. Newhouse’s efforts meant the Foundation will be able to increase the number of teachers trained in the curriculum. She and the Rushville chapter of the DAR, were critical partners in the grant process.
“Members like Julie are critical to our success,” said Charles R. Dunlap, executive director, Indiana Bar Foundation. “When they help us secure new funding sources for teacher training, we can educate more students.”
Allen County Bar Foundation also received the William G. Baker Award. Long active in We The People district competition, members of the Allen County Bar increased their financial support in 2011 and 2012. Their donations increased 62 percent since 2010 to $6,500.00. Members realized that with reductions in federal funding, the local schools that teach We The People in fifth, eighth and twelfth grades might have a tougher time using the curriculum. The Allen County Bar Foundation’s board agreed to help with not only the district competition for schools in the area, but also textbooks, lunches and transportation for some schools that may need help participating. There are 10 schools in the Greater Fort Wayne area using the curriculum, and that district’s competition is one of the largest in the nation with 800 participating students.
“We applaud the members of the Allen County Bar Foundation for ensuring local programs are successful, funded and provide a quality competitive experience for the local students,” said Dunlap.
Anita Griffin (St. John) and Rebecca Reeder (Fort Wayne) both received the Dr. John Patrick Awards.
Griffin and Reeder are both retired public school teachers who have acted as volunteer district coordinators in their respective communities. Both are being recognized for growing their local programs in tough financial times and with limited resources. Their competitions are considered some of the largest in the nation with more than 550 participating in Lake County and more than 800 in Allen County.
“These two women are nothing short of remarkable,” said Dunlap. “They truly believe in the value civic education brings to students and communities. They both run well-organized competitions where students excel.”
The William G. Baker Award is presented annually during the We The People state finals competition to an attorney member of the Indiana State Bar Association who has shown outstanding dedication to citizenship education. The Dr. John Patrick Award is presented annually during the same time to a parent, teacher or other non-attorney who makes an outstanding contribution to citizenship education. These awards were instituted by the Indiana State Bar Association’s citizenship education committee in 2005 and are now presented by the Indiana Bar Foundation. For a complete list of past winners, visit the Foundation’s website www.inbf.org/
– Rushville Republican