We the People

Readers of this blog know that I’m a broken record when it comes to civics education–and  also know that I am a huge fan of the We the People curriculum used by some (but not nearly enough) high school government teachers. In fact, my only complaint about We the People is that its use is entirely voluntary; when I become Emperor of the Whole World, I plan to make it mandatory…

Anyway, one of the ( distressingly few) things that Indiana does well is field teams in the annual We the People competition. I was honored to be a national judge last year, when Indiana had two teams in the top ten.

This year, Fishers High School won the state competition, and the team is preparing to compete for the national title. Part of that preparation is–you knew this was coming!–raising the money needed for the trip.

I’m pasting in the solicitation I received from one team member, whose justifiably proud  parents are friends of mine. I’m going to send a contribution, and I encourage those of you who are reading this to do the same. This program–and these kids–deserve our wholehearted–whole wallet-ed?– support.

Here’s her email:

Dear Professor Kennedy,
 At Fishers High School I’m part of the “We the People…” competition team, an academic team all about the Constitution and its application. After winning the State Championships held in Indianapolis, the FHS team has officially become Team Indiana as we prepare for the 27th Annual “We the People…” National Finals in Washington D.C. this April.  It has been the greatest experience of my educational career so far and I really want it to continue!  That is why I am asking for your financial support in raising $1200 in the next two weeks so that I can get back to focusing on my studies in an effort to participate in the “We the People…” National finals.

On the team, I am part of the Unit 5 division which focuses on the Bill of Rights and when, if ever, limitations of rights are justified.  I knew “We the People…”  was going to be a rigorous class, especially during my senior year, but that it also had potential for great rewards.  Throughout this season we have been busy researching, writing, and reaching out to local lawmakers, attorneys, and constitutional scholars to help with our studies. Our team is being recognized on the floor of the Indiana General Assembly and congratulated by the Governor of Indiana in February. I want to represent my family, school, and state to the best of my ability.  That’s why I need financial support from people like you that greatly value education.  If you are ready to make a tax deductible donation right now, simply click here http://www.gofundme.com/6emck8 to donate in five minutes!
In order to be a part of this once in a lifetime experience, I need to raise $1200. Please help me by sponsoring a portion of my trip. Any contribution you could make would bring me that much closer to this experience and get me back to studying that much sooner.  All donations are tax deductible and you will be sent a letter promptly from my school for your tax records.
There are two options for you to use to contribute:
1.  Click on the link here http://www.gofundme.com/6emck8 to contribute via check or credit card in as little as 5 minutes online
2.  Mail a check made out to FHS We the People team and mail it to the following address:
                Fishers High School
c/o Liz Paternoster
13000 Promise Road
Fishers, IN 46038
 – Be sure to include my name in the memo line of the check so my teacher knows to put it towards my trip.
– Also, consider asking your employer if they participate in a matching program.  This could double your donation!
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions or want to hear more about this really great learning opportunity.  You can also email my teacher and coach at lpaternoster@hse.k12.in.us. Thank you for your consideration!
Halley Rose Meslin


  1. Right on, Sheila. I sent this information to a school board member I know.
    In the news we hear about state legislatures and others discussing whether evolution is taught or not, but we do not hear them talk about civics education. We know from many sources that the general public often fail to answer civics questions correctly. The future of this country depends on people knowing our constitution, the law, and how the government operates. Civis education should be Job 1. It is a shame it is not.

  2. We the People is a great activity for high school students. The two Advanced Placement government courses are better academic courses for high achieving students wanting to earn college credit or to earn admission to very competitive schools. Students should be able to do both. So when you take over the world …

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