Below are the specific Idaho programs that ACE actively supports.
WE THE PEOPLE
The national Center for Civic Education partners with a network of 50 state civics, government, and law programs sponsored by state bar associations and foundations, colleges and universities, and other civic and law non-profit organizations to promote teaching and learning about the Constitution and Bill of Rights. State programs conduct local teacher professional development, hold conferences and organize local and state simulated congressional hearings for elementary and secondary students. Each year these state programs impact thousands of teachers and tens of thousands of students. ACE supports the Idaho We the People program.
The Idaho High School Mock Trial Competition, sponsored by the Idaho State Bar's Law Related Education Program, teaches students in grades 9-12 about the law and the legal system by participating in a simulated trial. In addition to the competition, the Law Related Education Program also supports the Mock Trial in the Classroom Project to expose students who do not participate in the competition to the benefits of the Mock Trial Program.
Through participation in the Idaho High School Mock Trial Competition, students from all parts of Idaho are given a hands-on opportunity to examine the legal process and current legal issues, while they develop important critical thinking, research, and presentation skills. Students prepare a hypothetical legal case. Then, in real courtrooms, before real judges, teams try their cases – from opening statements, through direct and cross examination, to closing arguments, each team has its own attorneys and witnesses and must be ready to present either side of the case. Teams compete in one of three regional tournaments in late February or early March. The top 12 qualifying teams compete in the state tournament in Boise in late March and the state champion qualifies to compete in the national tournament in May.
The Competition also includes a Courtroom Artist Contest which is open to students in grades 9 to 12, to allow artistically talented students the opportunity to participate in the mock trial program. Artists observe trials and submit sketches that depict actual courtroom scenes.
For 77 years, the Treasure Valley YMCA Youth in Government Program has engaged high school students across the great state of Idaho in an opportunity to obtain real life experience simulating and fulfilling the roles and responsibilities of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. Youth in Government program participants are actively immersed in civil engagement through developing skills in properly writing bills, parliamentary procedure, moot court competitions, lobbying, and even electing official officers including the Governor, Chief Justice, Appellate Judges and more. As school and YMCA groups compete and hold workshops at local Regional Conventions they work on preparing for the final State Convention held in Boise each year at the State Capitol Building. Youth participants can earn awards, scholarships, or even go on to participate nationally at the Conference of National Affairs representing all Idaho Youth in Government delegates.