(May 23, 2016 – OKLAHOMA CITY) Teachers from across Oklahoma have been selected from a statewide applicant pool to participate in the nationwide James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP), a civics and government education development program. The program, which gives Oklahoma middle and high school teachers new resources and training focusing on citizens’ rights and responsibilities, is a result of an Oklahoma Bar Association Law-related Education Department (LRE) initiative. The LRE outreach will offer more than $50,000 in funds to provide professional development for teachers focusing on the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Oklahoma will host the Oklahoma and Texas partnership this summer in Ardmore, June 19-23. Ten teachers from each of the two states will attend with all their expenses paid from the federal grant. Oklahoma teachers attending are Brandy Baldwin of Wynnewood Middle School, Justin Crook of Stilwell High School, Ellen Davis of Frederick High School, David Johnson of Eufaula High School, Ann Kennedy of Southeast High School in Oklahoma City, Christina Merten of Skiatook High School, Eddie Middleton of Ardmore High School, Pam Morgan of Alice Robertson Jr. High School in Muskogee, Dorrie Test of Guymon High School and Scott VanWorth of Soper Middle School.

The 36-hour summer training will prepare participants to teach the national program titled We the People…the Citizen and Constitution in their classroom next fall. The bar association is one of several organizations receiving these grants through the 46-state JMLP partnership, part of a nationwide professional development program directed by the California-based Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.

The JMLP teachers, along with their students, will participate in the project’s national research study being conducted by Diana Owen with Georgetown University. High school teachers will be invited to have their classes participate in the Oklahoma We the People state contest in December 2016. Middle school teachers will be conducting classroom public hearings at their school sites.

Those interested in future opportunities can contact LRE Coordinator Jane McConnell at 405-416-7024 or email janem@okbar.org for more information about how to participate and upcoming training dates.

Law-related education helps students develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to success in our society based on the rule of law. It teaches young people how the legal and political systems function, how they fit in and how the Constitution is relevant in their lives. It also focusses on how the law affects them and how they can affect the law.

The 17,600-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma's legal community.

iCivics prepares young Americans to become knowledgeable, engaged 21st century citizens by creating free and innovative educational materials.