About The Massachusetts Center For Civic Education
The Massachusetts Center for Civic Education is a private, non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes civic education in Massachusetts public and private schools, courtrooms, and communities. Our programs are implemented with the assistance of a network of public and private sector organizations and educational leaders throughout the state of Massachusetts. We first began in 1987 and in 2014 we began the application process to become a 501(c).3 organization. We participate actively in the programs of the national Center for Civic Education.
The goal of the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education is the promotion of civic learning and engagement in the community, including the incorporation of civic learning and engagement into the curriculum of primary through higher and continuing education. Proper citizenship education benefits our communities by creating generations of responsible citizens who are educated in the principles of democracy and who learn the value of participating in local, state, and national government.
The Center for Civic Education We The People program began in 1987 as our nation recognized the bicentennial of our U.S. Constitution. Massachusetts began its association with this program at that time and has continued for the last 28 years. The program has been used in over 200 schools in Massachusetts since its inception. Its sister program, Project Citizen, began in the 1990s and has been a successful addition in helping develop civic skills among our youth.
Both programs bookcase the essentials in civic education: knowledge and understanding of the American form of government(We the People) and opportunities to participate in the system of government at the local, state, and national levels (Project Citizen).
Since 2011 the federal government has not funded these programs. Opportunities for professional development have diminished, however, both the state competitions for the We the People program and the state showcase for Project Citizen have continued thanks to the participation of the teachers and the dedication of the coordinators and volunteers.
It is our intention through this website and the formation of the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education non-profit organization that we can revitalize our programs in the Commonwealth.
Roger, a retired teacher of history and government, now serves as both our president and the state coordinator for the We the People: The Citizen and The Constitution program. He's a James Madison fellow (2001), holds an M.A. in Political Science from Boston University (2004), and was Past President of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (2007).
Ellen Barber-Morse, a retired teacher, has been involved in the field of education over 20 years first as a classroom teacher, where in 2000, she was named Social Studies Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies. She currently is the Massachusetts State Coordinator for We the People: Project Citizen and District four Coordinator for We The People
Frank, a retired teacher of history and law, serves as a We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 1. He is Chairman of the Finance Committee in Charlton, MA, author of several pictorial books on Worcester, MA and working on another book on African Americans at the turn of the 20th century in Worcester, MA.
Claudette, a retired educator and former legal secretary, serves as We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 2. She continues to support civic education and be the loving grandmother to her recently born grandson.
Kristine, history and government teacher, serves as the We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 3. She has served as mentor for several We the People workshops and institutes.
Peter, history and government teacher at Chelmsford High School, serves as the We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 5. He has attended several Center for Civic Education summer institutes. His sophomore Honors students have competed in several Massachusetts State We the People competitions.
Diane, retired educator and former We the People state coordinator for both programs, the Citizen and the Constitution and Project Citizen, serves as the We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 7 and Project Citizen District Coordinator for Congressional District 5. She also trains teachers in Project Citizen in several countries in Latin America.
Gorman, K-12 social studies curriculum coordinator for the Braintree Public Schools, serves as the We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 8. Gorman is the co-chair for the NCSS Annual Conference in Boston (November, 2014) and currently President of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (2014-15). He received his doctorate in education from Northeastern University (2014).
Michelle, 5th grade teacher, serves as the We the People District Coordinator for Massachusetts Congressional District 9. Michelle has been a mentor at several institutes and workshops and continues to train teachers, especially elementary teachers. She has attended several Center for Civic Education summer institutes.
Rachel Barnes teaches 8th World History for the Monomoy Middle School. Rachel has taken her class to the Project Citizen State Showcase for eighth years. She is a dedicated Project Citizen District Coordinator and strong advocate for civic education and participation. She is a Project Citizen Coordinator for District Nine.
Prior to entering teaching, Keri Pitcher worked on numerous state and federal campaigns to make a difference in the lives of young people. She began teaching at Minnechaug Regional High School in Wilbraham, MA in 2004. She now teaches Government, Criminal Justice and US History as well as advises the Mock Law, Model Congress, and Model UN teams. She joined Project Citizen as the District 1 Coordinator in 2008.
Laura Dwyer has been a Gifted and Enrichment specialist for 15 years. She recently accepted a position as an administrator at the Nashoba Regional School District. She has been active in New Hampshire Project Citizen and is now the Project Citizen District 2 coordinator in Massachusetts. She is passionate about providing students with educational experiences that will empower them with the confidence to be proactive.