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44***COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: August 2003***

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    Aug 26, 2003
      COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: August 2003

      Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" - a
      web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to
      enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress --


      <<< Congress in the Classroom 2003 -- A Success! >>>

      There are many elements that go into a successful program, but the key
      element to The Dirksen Congressional Center's national, award-winning
      education program, Congress in the Classroom, is the participation and
      collaboration among the teachers who attend the program.

      Congress in the Classroom is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and
      information on teaching about Congress. The 2003 program theme was "An
      Overview of Congress."

      Read what our participants had to say about the 2003 program:

      <<< NEW RESOURCE: Campaign 2004 >>>

      For links to the most informative Internet sites about the 2004
      presidential campaign, visit CongressLink's "Campaign 2004" at:


      <<< Organization of the Executive Branch >>>

      The Constitution gives practically no direction on the organization of
      the executive branch but does mention "executive departments," which
      became the basis for the cabinet.

      The president does not develop policies or make all executive decisions
      alone. Presidents rely on a large staff based in the White House to
      handle a wide range of administrative tasks from policymaking to
      speechwriting. For information about salary and retirement benefits of
      federal employees, including members of Congress and the president and
      his cabinet, visit AboutGovernment. Find "Salaries and Retirement
      Benefits of U.S. Presidents and other Federal Government Employees"
      provided by the Internet Public Library at:

      Introduce our CongressLink featured lesson to help students understand
      that although the president relies primarily on the White House staff
      for advice, he also turns to members of the cabinet for advice in areas
      of expertise. Find "WebQuest: A Simulated Cabinet Meeting" at:

      Life in the cabinet room includes many debates and discussions. Take a
      look at the history of the Cabinet Room and watch Chief of Staff Andrew
      Card's tour of the Cabinet Room. Find "Life in the Cabinet Room -
      Debates and Decisions" at: http://www.aboutgovernment.org/cabinet.htm

      Why does the president need a cabinet? Have your students find out by
      reading the information and completing the tasks about the president's
      cabinet. Find "Why Does the President Need a Cabinet?" at:

      The president has a sizeable staff, of course, but Congress members have
      staff, too. To help your students learn about staff positions in
      Congress, have them visit CongressLink. Find "Congressional Staff
      Positions" at: http://www.congresslink.org/staff.html

      <<< Featured Grant-Funded Project >>>

      This month our featured grant-funded project is a Congressional Research
      Award of $3,500 granted to Keith W. Smith from the University of
      California at Berkeley. Keith's project, "Styles of Oversight: How
      Congress Oversees the Executive Branch," seeks to understand the kinds
      of oversight activities committees engage in and why they do so. Learn
      more about this project and others at:

      <<< Executive Branch Enigma >>>

      1. What are the four agencies that make up the president's office?

      2. Former Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins (1880-1965) was the first
      woman to be appointed to a presidential cabinet. Which leader did she
      serve under?

      A) Franklin D. Roosevelt
      B) John F. Kennedy
      C) Calvin Coolidge

      Answers to the July issue of "Fun, Facts, and Trivia" link here:

      Welcome back to school! Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the
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