upcoming events

Street Law

  • Training, May 18-19

We the People

  • Training (Elem. – HS), June 10-11
  • Training (Elem.), June 14
  • Training (HS), June 15-16

Foundations of Democracy

  • Training, June 16-17

Project Citizen

  • Training, July 20-21
  • Training, Sept. 24-25

Mock Trial

  • Training, July 27
  • Training, Sept. 14

For more upcoming events, click here to visit our calendar

Cynthia H. Cothran
LRE Director
Oversees all programs

Marian Kirk
LRE Program Coordinator
Supports all programs and competitions

Donald Lanier
LRE Coordinator
Supports Community Works, Street Law, Foundations of Democracy, School Resource Officer Trainings, We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Youth Court

LRE Welcome | LRE National News | LRE State News | Teacher's Corner | LRE Programs | Community Works | Elementary Mock Trial | Foundations of Democracy | High School Mock Trial | LawForKids.org | Middle School Mock Trial | Project Citizen | Street Law | We the People | Youth Court

lre news

Welcome to the eighth edition of LRE News! We hope this newsletter continues to be a useful tool to you. It was created to provide information on LRE news, programs and events for those involved with LRE programs. Suggestions and feedback are always welcome.

LRE is a “one-stop” shop for teachers, SROs, pre-service teachers and attorneys. Professional development trainings are provided throughout the year on programs such as:

  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution;
  • We the People: Project Citizen;
  • Community Works;
  • Street Law;
  • Mock Trial;
  • Foundations of Democracy;
  • LawForKids.org; and
  • Law for Teachers.

National Law Day Award
The National Law Day Award’s purpose is to promote a public understanding of law, integrate the 2010 Law Day theme into activities and serve as program models for Law Day. Categories for this award include: K-12 and undergraduate, Law School Community, Adult Community/General Public, Legal Professionals, and Special Use of the 2010 Law Day Theme – Law in the 21st Century: Enduring Traditions, and Emerging Challenges.

Any individual or group who implemented a Law Day program is eligible to apply for the award. Criteria to consider when applying for the award includes whether the activity: highlights the 2010 Law Day theme, engages targeted audiences, creates partnerships with members of the legal community at large, projects quality and innovation, uses the media, and extends beyond Law Day.

The application for the National Law Day Award may be downloaded at
here. The deadline for postmarked entry forms is June 18, 2010.

Celebrate Constitution Day – September 17th

  • Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education declared that any education institution receiving federal funds must offer lessons on the U.S. Constitution every year for Constitution Day? 
  • Do you have plans for Constitution Day this year?
  • Looking for fun curriculum, lesson plans and games to use in the classroom?
In celebration of our country’s Constitution, the U.S. Department of Education has designated September 17 as annual Constitution Day! The day is intended to prompt any federally funded educational institution to conduct an event of its own design that celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution, which occurred in 1787. Events or programming can be designed as educators see fit to best emphasize this momentous event with their students. Need a free Constitution Day Pocket Book or a Constitution Day tool kit? Look no further: www.constitutionday.cc

Through participation in Constitution Day, students will increase their basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, problem analysis and many more attributes, to include awareness of how the Constitution is applicable to their daily lives. Read the Federal Register establishing Constitution Day at www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-2/052405b.html.

Constitution Day Resources:

Mix It Up Grants
The Southern Poverty Law Center is accepting applications for its Mix It Up grants program to support ongoing projects led and directed by youth (ages 13 and older) that challenge the status quo, are creative in their approach to encouraging engagement in socially just behaviors, involve collaborations across social boundaries, and are fiscally responsible. Maximum award: $500. Ages served: middle and high school. They have a rolling deadline. For more information, visit http://www.tolerance.org

Do Something Seed Grants
Do Something is offering weekly grants of $500 to assist projects addressing different causes around the world. Do Something Seed Grants are targeted toward project ideas and programs that are just getting started. These grants are available to individuals ages 25 or under who are working to start a community action project or program. They have a rolling deadline. Learn more at: http://www.dosomething.org/grants/seedgrants

60-Second Civics
The Center for Civic Education is pleased to provide 60-Second Civics, a daily podcast that provides a quick and convenient way for listeners to learn about our nation’s government, the U.S. Constitution and American history. The podcast explores themes related to civics and government, the Constitutional issues behind the headlines, and the people and ideas that formed our nation’s history and government. To subscribe, visit http://civiced.org/rss/podcast_60second.xml.


LRE Summer and Fall Trainings Are Now Available—Apply Today!
Have you reserved your copy? The new LRE Training catalog is now available. Don’t miss out on the many training opportunities coming this summer and next fall. Click here to download the catalog.

Awards & Recognition
The school year cannot come to a close without recognizing some outstanding individuals and schools for their accomplishments in law related education. 

  • LRE Middle School of the Year ($2,500): York One Academy
  • LRE High School of the Year ($2,500): Blythewood High School
  • LRE Middle School Teacher of the Year ($500): Betty Hopkins (Crayton Middle School)
  • LRE High School Teacher of the Year ($500): Denise Jackson (Strom Thurmond High School)
  • LRE Citizen of the Year ($500):  Sara Wheeler (Richland School District Two)
  • LRE Lawyer of the Year:  Walter Dusky (Fort Mill High School Attorney Coach)

High School Mock Trial Scholarship Winners ($500 each):
Sarah Carter (Berkeley High School)
Maddison Hall (Fort Mill High School)
Thomas Horton (Berkeley High School)
James Hughes (Fort Mill High School)
Valerie Myers (Bob Jones Academy)
Brittany Pifer (Blythewood High School)
Daniel Prohaska (Berkeley High School)
Natasha Rudy (Greenwood High School)
Daphne Sims (Chapin High School)

We the People Scholarship Winners ($500 each):
Yuko Gruber (Carolina Forest High School)
Tyler Sutton (Wilson Hall)
Brandon White (Carolina Forest High School)

Want to get in on the recognition? Click here to learn how to apply for these awards next year.

Competition Dates for 2010/11
Middle School Mock Trial
• Regionals (Charleston Columbia, Conway & Greenville): November 13, 2010
• State (Columbia): December 4, 2010

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
• Middle School Level (Columbia): January 6, 2011
• High School Level (Columbia): January 7, 2011

We the People: Project Citizen
• Columbia: April 14, 2011

High School Mock Trial
• Regionals (Charleston Columbia, Conway & Greenville): February 26, 2011
• State (Columbia): March 11-12, 2011
• Nationals (Phoenix, Arizona): May 5-8, 2011

The spotlight has stopped on…

rhodesYvonne Rhodes
Wilson High School
Florence School District Six
Sumter, South Carolina

Yvonne Rhodes graduated cum laude with a BS in Political Science from Francis Marion University. She went on to get her Masters of Learning Accommodations at Francis Marion University and her Masters Plus 30 in social studies. She is married and has three children.

Upon graduating from college, Rhodes became a teacher at Wilson High School in Florence, teaching history. She received the Teacher of the Year Award at Wilson in 1995. In 1996, she started teaching American Government and economics in the school’s new International Baccalaureate program. In 2007, she began teaching Advanced Placement U.S. History and has implemented many law related studies in her classes. In 2008, she earned the LRE High School Teacher of the Year Award. And, just this year Rhodes was recognized as the Veteran Teacher of the Year by Francis Marion University’s Education Department.

Yvonne Rhodes has implemented the We the People: Citizen and the Constitution in her classroom and competed in the state We the People congressional hearings for nine years. Her dedication of many hours to her students has earned her classes four state titles (one this year!) and three first runner-up titles. As state champions, her teams represented South Carolina in the national We the People competitions in Washington, DC. With so much knowledge and experience with We the People, Rhodes was asked to share her experiences and teach sections of the program in LRE’s We the People trainings for new teachers and to serve as South Carolina’s We the People Congressional District Six Coordinator. She has served in this capacity for the last four years.

The LRE Division is appreciative and proud of the contributions and accomplishments Yvonne Rhodes has made through her efforts to make a difference in the lives of others. She has served as a mentor to her fellow teachers and motivator to her students to excel. Her passion and excitement for teaching is infectious.


sro corner (click here to learn more)

Description: Looking for a curriculum that teaches communication and problem solving skills? Community Works is a program targeting middle and high school students that can be implemented in the classroom, after school or in most any other setting. It provides students with a practical understanding of crime and crime prevention that is useful in their everyday lives. It can function as a stand-alone program, or it can be incorporated into a classroom curriculum. The curriculum includes 31 highly interactive session, involves community resource people and includes a service learning/action project component, if desired. This curriculum not only teaches teens to be resources for each other, but to interact positively with community members.

What's New: A two-day training is scheduled for February 2011. Click here to learn more.

emt (click here to learn more)


Description: Elementary Mock Trial is an excellent way to begin to introduce the concepts of justice and the judiciary through fairy tale trials. We all know the stories of Goldilocks, Paul Bunyan, The Three Little Pigs and others. Through materials from the American Bar Association supplied to elementary teachers by the South Carolina Bar LRE Division, upper elementary students can learn about the courts in an interactive fashion. For the majority of the trials, there are even puppets available for checkout from the S.C. Bar LRE Division.

What’s New:The LRE Division has added many new puppets and cases to choose from when implementing Elementary Mock Trial. The Division will also come to schools that implement the program to videotape the students presenting the mock trial cases. For more information about the program, to review cases and choose puppets, click here.

fod (click here to learn more)

Description: Foundations of Democracy is a character education curriculum created by the Center for Civic Education. The curriculum is available for grades K-12 and addresses authority, responsibility, privacy and justice. The Center for Civic Education's mission is "to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry, committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the United States and other countries."  Students in South Carolina can benefit from this mission by becoming enlightened and active, responsible citizens while impacting the state through the implementation of this program. Through participation in this program, students will increase their basic skills of listening, speaking, writing, reading, problem analysis and awareness of the Constitution and how it is applicable to their daily lives.

What’s New: A two-day training has been scheduled for June 16-17, 2010, in Columbia. Interested in starting this program at your school? Click here for registration information.

high school mock trial (click here to learn more)

Description: The High School Mock Trial Program is a hands-on exercise in learning about due process. It is most often conducted as an extracurricular activity but can also be incorporated into law, forensics or public speaking classes.

What’s New:Teams readily prepared to compete at their local regional competitions on February 27 and state competition March 12-13.

Bob Jones Academy students won its fifth state high school mock trial competition on March 13. Teachers helping the team were Michael Murphy, Ben Adams and Nancy Adams. Attorney coaches were Allen Fretwell and Jon Gregory. The team also had a former mock trial student volunteer, Jennifer Olinger. The team represented South Carolina at the national high school mock trial competition May 6-9 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Congratulations to Wando High School for placing first runner-up. A huge thank you is extended to everyone who made the high school mock trial competition a success!

Maybe it will be your school taking home the traveling Westbrook Award to display in your school’s trophy case for the 2010/11 school year! Would you like to take it to the next level and represent South Carolina at the National High School Mock Trial Competition in Phoenix, Arizona in May 2011? If so, make sure you are not left out of this wonderful program.

Congratulations and many, many thanks to the following dedicated teachers who generously gave their time and energy to mentor students that participated in the 2010 High School Mock Trial program.

Free trainings will be offered July 27 and September 14 for teachers interested in implementing this program. Click here for dates and registration information.  

Schools Teacher Coaches
Battery Creek High School Regina Butler, Daniel Tibbals, Torrea Washington & Desiree Mungin
Beaufort High School Deborah R. Kidd and Robin Southard
Berkeley High School Jessica Benton, Tookie Harrop, and Katy Bates
Blythewood High School Patrick Kelly and Marc Turner
Bob Jones Academy Michael Murphy, Ben Adams, Nancy Adams, and Jennifer Olinger
Branchville High School Sylvia Williams, Wallace Williams and Darlene Hall
Chapin High School Brantley Brinkley and Riley Kleckley
Christ Church Episcopal School Donna Miller and Matt Jacobsen
D.W. Daniel High School Charlotte M. Bruner, Todd Howard and Linda Combs
Dreher High School Karen S. Brown
Dutch Fork High School Laurie Humphrey and Molly Dawson
Fort Dorchester High School William W. Dowd
Fort Mill High School Lynn Dickinson, Tom Wood and George Dickinson
Governor's School for Science & Mathematics Gary Salazar
Greenville Academy of Law, Business & Finance Roland Bowler
Greenville Technical Charter High School David Gantt
Greenwood High School Michael White and Bonnie Seawright
Irmo High School Sherry B. Stone
JL Mann High School Mark Davis
Johnsonville High School Amanda McKee
Lexington High School David Rest
Lower Richland High School Timothy Shipley and Brenton Brown
Myrtle Beach High School Amanda Dimovitz
Nation Ford High School Clay Hasty and Chris Revels
North Myrtle Beach High School Robert Decerbo, Sandi Adkins, and Amy Murphy
Pinewood Preparatory Hope McIntosh
Richard Winn Academy Wendy McDonald
Ridge View High School Carol Kannisto and Edwin Griffin
Socastee High School Jack Ebright, Gina Gile, Ami-lyn Masterson, and Matthew McCarty
Spring Valley High School Stan Whittle, Carrie Whitley and Cheryl Guy
St. Francis Xavier High School Edward Bruce Nowak and Susan Lavegne
St. James High School Tracina Schmaus and Amanda Donner
Strom Thurmond High School Denise Jackson and Jeff Bryan
Wade Hampton High School Grant Hunter and Derrick Jackson
Wando High School Nancy Cranford and Lisa Cain
Westminster Catawba Christian School Debbie Holford
Wilson High School Karen Medley and Vickie McCaulley
Wren High School Matthew Truesdale

(click here to learn more)

Do your students have questions? Do they need answers? Don’t let the students go through life without knowing about this fabulous online program for kids. LawForKids.org is a Web site dedicated to teaching children about the law. It was created with the specific goal of educating South Carolina’s youth, parents, communities and schools about the law and to encourage lawful behavior. The site includes an interactive forum through which students may anonymously ask questions about the law and receive correct, factual information from volunteer attorneys.

Access to the Web site is free and adapted for South Carolina youth. There are quizzes, interactive games, cartoons, comics, law documents, links to other law related education Web sites and a searchable database on South Carolina law and how it affects young people. Students will find the Web site helpful for research projects and homework assignments, but can also use the site to play games and hear first-hand from their peers about law related incidents and how to best handle various situations.

To access the Web site, visit www.LawForKids.org. Click “other states” in the top right corner of the home page, and then select South Carolina on the U.S. map. Users will then have the option of making the South Carolina site their permanent home page.

middle school mock trial (click here to learn more)

“It [mock trial] is absolutely one of the best things offered at the middle and high school level. My students who have participated over the years have gone on and done amazing things, and I know it is a direct result of the confidence and knowledge that was built from their participation in the mock trial program!” —Brenda Kidd, North Myrtle Beach Middle School

Description: The Middle School Mock Trial Program is a hands-on exercise in learning about due process. It is a team activity program that is most often conducted as an extracurricular activity, but can also be incorporated into law, forensics or public speaking classes.

What’s New:If you thought that mock trial was only for high school, then you thought wrong! Forestbrook Middle School of Myrtle Beach won its first state championship title in December 2009; the first runner-up was North Myrtle Beach. Free trainings will be offered July 27 and September 14 for teachers interested in implementing this program.

Interested in starting this program at your school? Click here for dates and registration information, or to register for a free training.

project citizen (click here to learn more)

Description: We the People: Project Citizen is a curricular program for elementary, middle and high school students as well as youth groups that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps young people learn how to monitor and influence public policy (a school rule or state law). In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance and feelings of political efficacy.

What’s New:The Project Citizen Showcase took place at the SC Bar on April 15, 2010. The in-school hearings leading up to the state showcase allowed students the opportunity to learn about public policy and make change in their school and/or communities. Congratulations to York One Academy for winning the Showcase at the middle school level. The school’s project will represent South Carolina at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Project Citizen annual showcase event in August. The students proposed “Texting By Hand Can Wreck Your Life,” addressing the proposed bill banning texting while driving.

Congratulations are also extended to Bluffton High School students for winning the Showcase at the high school level. The students proposed “Animal Abuse Exposed,” addressing the need for breeders and those who are adopting/purchasing pets to go through a required background check to reduce the increasing number of animal abuse incidences. LRE is proud of all the students and teachers that participated in the Project Citizen program.

If your students have worn out their Project Citizen books and you need a replacement set, e-mail Cynthia Cothran at ccothran@scbar.org to get a new FREE classroom set of 30 textbooks, as well as a teacher’s guide.

Interested in starting this program at your school? Click here for dates and registration information for trainings and the summer institute.

sro corner (click here to learn more)

Description: Street Law is a course in practical law. It was designed to provide students with knowledge of what to do when confronted with a legal problem. Information is presented through student-centered activities that enable teens to develop as effective citizens.  Most often, Street Law, is taught as a one-semester social studies elective or in place of a government course. The curriculum can also be used by teachers of a practical business law class. The curriculum is correlated to the state standards and is on the SC textbook adopted list.  The curriculum includes a teacher's manual as well as test banks.

What’s New: A Street Law training for teacher and SRO teams is scheduled for May 18-19, 2010. Interested in starting this program at your school? Click here for registration information.  

we the people (click here to learn more)

“Thanks for putting together such a great competition … we enjoyed ourselves very much.” —JJ Iagulli, Carolina Forest High School

Description: We the People is an in-depth study of American history with an emphasis on understanding the formation of the Constitution and its interpretation throughout history. Students compete in a mock congressional hearing and discuss critical issues regarding American government, the founding fathers and current events based on a constitutional perspective.

What’s New:Wilson High School was the state winner of the 2010 We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Mock Congressional Hearing. This was the fourth state title earned by Wilson High School, led by teacher coach Yvonne Rhodes. Wilson High School represented South Carolina at the national championship in Washington, DC, April 23-26. Congratulations to Carolina Forest High School for placing first runner-up and to all the teams that participated in the competition, as these students not only learned about the Constitution but gained skills that will take them through life. A huge thank you is extended to everyone who made the competition a success!

Great News! The middle school level competition has returned to South Carolina. If you have been trained in We the People at the middle school level, please contact Donald Lanier at dlanier@scbar.org to find out more about competing on January 6, 2011.

To learn more or register for FREE trainings on We the People, click here for dates and registration information.

youth court (click here to learn more)

Description: Do you know what one of the fastest growing youth diversion programs in the nation is? The answer is Youth Court. There are 35 separate youth courts serving many different communities and schools throughout South Carolina. In communities, Youth Court is a juvenile diversion option intended to keep young people with no criminal record out of the juvenile justice system, allowing them a second chance to maintain their clean juvenile records. In schools, Youth Court can handle actual criminal offenses in which the school resource officer is involved, or it can be inserted into the discipline code to handle violations of school rules. Youth Court functions like a traditional court with all the key roles in place. The difference is that all of those roles are played by youth.

What’s New:With the reinvigoration of the S.C. Youth Court Association, the Bar now serves as a clearinghouse for information and a resource for reaching the S.C. Youth Court Association.  For a list of Youth Court publications held by the Bar, please e-mail Donald Lanier at dlanier@scbar.org. Click here to learn more.

“The life of a republic lies certainly in the energy, virtue,
and intelligence of its citizens.”

—Andrew Johnson, 1865

bar foundation
LRE programs are made possible with the support of the South Carolina Bar Foundation's IOLTA grant and two program grants through the Center for Civic Education.
civic ed


South Carolina Bar Law Related Education Division
950 Taylor Street • P.O. Box 608 • Columbia, SC 29202
Phone: (803) 252-5139 Fax: (803) 771-0419 E-mail: lre@scbar.org