Every two months, the Federal Bar Association shines the spotlight on its chapters, sections, and divisions who have presented activities in relation to the FBA Civics Education Initiative. These programs bring the legal system to the community, including to children in schools nationwide, and provide accessible information to those who may not receive it elsewhere.


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On January 18, attorney Melissa Cruthirds (Southern District of Georgia Chapter) gave a talk with a selection of 8th Graders at Columbia Middle School regarding the Civics Essay Contest.

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Judge Newman, Judge Bianco, and Dina Miller at the Central Islip Courthouse in the Eastern District of New York. Judge Bianco and Dina Miller (Eastern District of New York Chapter) initiated the first court-sponsored, week-long civics court camp in the United States this past summer, a joint initiative between the Federal Bar Association and the “Justice for All” civics initiative in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals co-chaired by Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann and United States District Judge Victor Marrero from the Southern District of New York.

On January 26, the South Carolina Chapter hosted National FBA President Judge Michael Newman and the national FBA Board of Directors, who visited Charleston for their quarterly board meeting. We also had a great time doing civics events with students at Moultrie Middle School and Wando High School. Many thanks to Judge Seymour, Judge Norton, and Judge Marchant who participated in the civics programs along with Judge Newman and others from national FBA. As you may gather from the photo, the students had a great time, and I can tell you they were not shy about asking federal judges questions! These events were fun, inspiring, and special for all of us.

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In late February, members of the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter participated in the Winton Hills Academy visit to the Southern District of Ohio Federal Courthouse.  The day was a success, providing needed reinforcement that the children can achieve their goals through education, focus, and perseverance.

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On February 22, the Eastern District of New York Chapter invited a few Boy/Girl Scout Troops to a program entitled “Bench in Your Backyard.” By virtue of their participation, the kids earn a civic education patch. Last year, the chapter hosted about 35 girls; this year, 200 people showed up (with parents and siblings). It just goes to show the need that is being filled within the community.

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On February 24, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Chapter hosted more than 60 children for an event at the Robert N.C. Nix Sr. Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia. During the event,  Judge Ashely Chan taught a civics lesson to 5th graders from the Julia R. Masterman School.