The latest news from the John Marshall Foundation

Executive Director’s Message

May 10, 2016 by David King

I’m excited about the expansion and improvements in our civics-education programs. Tom Kennedy, Board member who pioneered the last “leap forward” of the Justice in the Classroom (JIC) program, is now leading a team in the “new leap forward” in technology and refinement.

Cheryl Ragsdale and Debra Prillaman, Education Committee Co-Chairs, and Barbara Schneider, Director of Education, are working with Tom and curriculum consultant, Greg Ownby, hired with funding from the Richard & Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee.

Greg has brought to us a validation of our JIC program. His students found the JIC DVD stimulating and relevant. He is also bringing a new perspective, a younger one, from students today, who are engaging history and civics learning in new ways – with much more on-line content, rap songs, and inverting the homework.

Tom and Greg are recommending we make the JIC program available on our web site. This effectively opens the program to national and even international audiences. We are discussing several revenue models, including a national sponsorship and the sale of collateral teachers’ materials to accompany our web-based program.

The expansion of JIC into other parts of Virginia (under the generous grant from the Virginia Law Foundation) is moving ahead. We are planning teacher workshops in the Tri-Cities region, Prince George, Surry, Sussex, Southampton, Hampton, and even the Eastern Shore. The revised curriculum forms the basis for these sessions.

The team is also working on a “jobs in law” component of JIC and an elementary version as well. And, we are exploring a request from the Fairfax Public Schools to bring JIC to some of their 26 high schools.

These changes are positive and exciting. We can applaud the commitment and leadership of Cheryl, Debra, Tom, and Barbara.

Category: News & Headlines