Law Day
May 2007
Liberty Under Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy

Now celebrated throughout the month of May, Law Day is an opportunity for everyone to reflect on our legal heritage, on the role of law in protecting justice and fairness in society, and on the rights and duties of people to maintain law and justice as the foundation of peace and prosperity for society. This year’s theme of “Liberty Under the Law: Empowering Youth, Assuring Democracy” challenges schools and society to bring youth into the political process and into the civic community through service learning, participation in Law Related Education, and by developing an understanding that education and rights for youth were hard won. curriculum.

Here are resources to observe Law Day in your school and classroom. If you find something else of value to teachers, please send it to us at SCORE History-Social Science peg_hill@sbcss.k12.ca.us


Margaret Hill, Ph.D.
Director, SCORE H-SS


SERVICE LEARNING

National Service Learning Clearinghouse
http://www.servicelearning.org/
Download a pdf version of the K-12 Service-Learning Project Planning Toolkit with information about the three core components of a service-learning project: planning and preparation, the service activity, and the culminating event. Access success stories and ideas for service-learning activities for students and other youth.

Learn and Serve America
http://www.learnandserve.org/
America’s young people have the desire, energy and ability to make a real difference in their communities. Service-learning offers a unique opportunity for them to get involved in a tangible way by integrating community service projects with classroom learning. Service-learning engages students in the educational process, using what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. Students not only learn about democracy and citizenship, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.

National Service Learning Partnership
http://www.service-learningpartnership.org/site/PageServer
Service-learning is a teaching method that engages young people in solving problems within their schools and communities as part of their academic studies or other type of intentional learning activity. Service-learning helps students master important curriculum content by supporting their making meaningful connections between what they are studying and its many applications. Service-learning also helps young people develop a range of service skills, from acts of kindness and caring, to community stewardship, to civic action.

HISTORY OF CHILD LABOR

Child Labor in U.S. History
http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/us_history.html
Forms of child labor, including indentured servitude and child slavery, have existed throughout American history. Learn about the evolution of rights for youth in American history.

Child Labor in Factories
http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/cur/Baker_00/2002_p7/ak_p7/childlabor.html
When the industrial revolution first came to Britain and the U.S., there was a high demand for labor. Families quickly migrated from the rural farm areas to the newly industrialized cities to find work. To survive the poverty, families had to have every able member of the family go to work. This led to the high rise in child labor in factories. Children were not treated well, overworked, and underpaid for a long time before anyone tried to change things for them.

Child Labor in America
http://memory.loc.gov/learn/lessons/98/labor/resource.html
This Library of Congress site has a series of links to resources and primary sources about child labor in America and the rest of the world and about the evolution of rights for women and children in American history.

LAW & RIGHTS

National Youth Rights Association
http://www.youthrights.org/
Calling itself the last Civil Rights Movement, the National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) defends the civil and human rights of young people in the United States through educating people about youth rights, working with public officials and empowering young people to work on their own behalf. They believe certain basic rights are intrinsic parts of American citizenship and transcend age or status limits.

Youth & Labor
http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/youthlabor/index.htm
The Department of Labor is the sole federal agency that monitors child labor and enforces child labor laws. The most sweeping federal law that restricts the employment and abuse of child workers is the Fair Labor Standards Act.

A Guide to the Typical Offenses Handled by Youth Courts
http://www.abanet.org/publiced/youthcases_youthcourts.pdf
Youth Court is a program in which juvenile offenders are questioned, defended and sentenced by their peers. Youth Courts are the fastest growing crime intervention programs in the nation. They offer ways to engage the community in a partnership with the juvenile justice system to respond to juvenile crimes by increasing the awareness of delinquency issues on a local level and by mobilizing community members and youth to take an active role in addressing the problem.

Street Law Interactive
http://www.streetlaw.org/content.asp?ContentId=204
Law-related education (LRE) empowers young people by providing practical information about law and the legal system. LRE encourages youth to become effective, law-abiding citizens by promoting civic responsibility and community participation. Here are 15 lessons developed for the Youth Court program by Street Law.