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We The People

Jonathan Dauterman, Writer

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Homestead’s We The People club, organized by Sara Warfield, is meant to enhance the experiences of students who choose to take the We The People class that will be starting next semester.

“(The WTP class) is a course that is given for a semester, and it goes along with AP Gov,” Warfield said. “It is meant to help students become more civic literate and have conversations about how the constitution relates to past, present and future.”

The course material is based around American history and the Constitution. The WTP club and course both have meets on weekends, based on the content of the course.

“During the fall, everyone who is in the class has to participate in the competitions,” Warfield said.

The meets are divided in three categories: Regional, State and National. All members will progress from Regional to State, and if they do well enough, the team may make it to National.

The Indiana Bar Association, a group largely based around history and interpreting the Constitution, supports all of the meets for WTP.

“(The Indiana Bar Association) is a conjunction of the law firms within Indiana,” Warfield said. “We (also) receive a lot of support from the Allen County bars.”

The students related to the Constitution and the material found in the class itself focus all the competitions on a series of reports, speeches and presentations. Points awarded based on the quality of the speeches allow for students and teams to advance.

“People give presentations that they have prepared all semester,” Warfield said. “Students have to prepare research papers and speeches on research questions. Depending on how they analyze the question and have conversations, they get points.”

At the moment, there are no other WTP-related activities outside of the club and competitions, but Warfield is optimistic this will change.

“We do have hopes for the club,” Warfield said. “We hope to extend to the middle school. We hope to have a nice community of students, who want to take the course, or can’t (take the course) but want to have those conversations (about the Constitution and history) anyways.”

In order to build solid, effective presentations, the members of the club and class all use a variety of sources related to law, politics and history.

“We have the textbook, which is a huge resource,” Warfield said. “And then various political websites that the Center for Civic Education Provides, as well as the Oyez Blog with Supreme Court Cases.”

While the speeches are made and presented by the students, this independence is not meant to take away from the role that Warfield has in We The People.

“My responsibilities are to organize the course, adhere to the curriculum, help (the students) as they write their papers and prepare for the competition, and bring along other individuals to help,” Warfield said.

“I have a counterpart (to share responsibilities with), Mr. Yoder who helps coach the kids and deserves a shout-out.”

The WTP class is only in the first semester of Homestead in the fall, but activity in the club is still available and encouraged after the course is completed.

“Once you’ve taken (the course) once, you aren’t allowed to take it again,” Warfield said. “We hope that as the fall semester continues, students who have already taken the course can help those that are in it.”

Overall, We The People is a very rewarding experience to be a part of, both the club and the course itself, and the program succeeds in educating students about the Constitution and American history.

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