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Middle School Students Learn about the Constitution with Lessons that Resonate

Constituting America presenters Cathy Gillespie and Jeanette Krayneck with Bailey Middle School students Luna M. and Tamia M.
Constituting America presenters Cathy Gillespie and Jeanette Krayneck with Bailey Middle School students Luna M. and Tamia M.

HOUSTON - Sept. 28, 2018 - Spring ISD Middle School students are participating in special interactive learning sessions to learn more about the Constitution with Constituting America, a non-profit organization that specializes in teaching students about one of the nation’s founding documents using songs, short films, and public service announcements.

“It's even more important to understand that the Constitution is very much alive today.”, said Susan Pelezo, director of Core Content and Instructional Technology. “It affects us every time we go to church, read a book, talk on the phone, or use a computer. The Constitution helps guide our everyday activities.”

Students at six Spring ISD middle schools are participating in two seperate interactive learning sessions to learn about topics, such as the roles of the branches in the U.S. government, the most important points of the Constitution, George Washington and his contributions to the nation.

The district is encouraging students and teachers to participate in the We The Future Contest, where students and teachers can win prizes such as cash prizes or scholarships, fully funded mentor trips, and national exposure. Since 2010, We The Future has received entries from students from 47 states and awarded over $129,000 in scholarships to students.

“We’re the only organization that distributes kids’ winning works about the constitution to the national media,” said Cathy Gillespie, Constituting America Co-Chair.  She said students who take part in the contest often have the opportunity to get their songs on iTunes or Spotify, get national air time for public service announcements and films into festivals.

Spring ISD’s own Michelle Neyrey, a Social Studies specialist, was named winner of the Best Constitution Lesson Plan, for her entry into the contest’s teacher category. She said the opportunity to meet and talk with students has helped her gain insight into what they want to see in classroom instruction.

“Our young people are socially aware and are interested in learning how government works so they can help elicit change,” she said.

Students and staff can visit https://bit.ly/2MXV6QF for contest information and rules.