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96New Sessions Added: Congress in the Classroom 2008

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    Apr 1, 2008

      Deadline: April 15, 2008

      Congress in the Classroom is a national, award-winning education program now in its 16th year. Developed and sponsored by The Dirksen Congressional Center, the workshop is dedicated to the exchange of ideas and information on teaching about Congress. The Center will join with the new Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service in conducting the workshop.

      Congress in the Classroom is designed for high school or middle school teachers who teach U.S. history, government, civics, political science, or social studies. Forty teachers will be selected in 2008 to take part in the program. Selection will be determined by The Center. All online applications must be received by no later than April 15, 2008. Individuals will be notified of their acceptance status by April 30, 2008.

      In addition to sessions dealing with Congress, the 2008 program will pay special attention to the upcoming congressional and presidential elections. The workshop consists of two types of sessions: those that focus on recent research and scholarship about Congress or elections (and don't always have an immediate application in the classroom) and those geared to specific ways to teach students about Congress or elections.

      The workshop will be held Monday, July 21 - Thursday, July 24, at the Hotel Pere Marquette -- http://www.hotelperemarquette.com/ -- Peoria, Illinois.

      The program is certified by the Illinois State Board of Education for up to 22 Continuing Education Units. The program also is endorsed by the National Council for the Social Studies.

      Participants are responsible for (1) a non-refundable $135 registration fee (required to confirm acceptance after notice of selection) and (2) transportation to and from Peoria, Illinois. Many school districts will pay all or a portion of these costs.

      The Center pays for three nights lodging at the headquarters hotel (providing a single room for each participant), workshop materials, local transportation, all but three meals, and presenter honoraria and expenses. The Center spends between $25,000 and $30,000 to host the program each year.

      Tentative session titles are listed below. (NOTE: Additional sessions will be listed as presenters are confirmed. More information about the content of each session will be posted as it becomes available.)

      > Opening Remarks: A View from Capitol Hill
      The Honorable Ray LaHood, (R-IL, 18th District, U.S. House of Representatives) CONFIRMED

      Congressman LaHood will retire from the House in January 2009, having decided in 2007 not to stand for re-election in 2008. He has served seven terms. The Congressman will discuss the current agenda in Congress, offer observations about the upcoming election, and respond to your questions.

      > Congressional Insight: An Interactive Simulation of a Member's First Term in the House of Representatives
      Tara Smith, National Association of Manufacturers CONFIRMED

      With Congressional Insight, you experience the high-pressured, uncompromising environment in which legislators must operate. With increasingly tight deadlines imposed by the simulation, you are part of a team that must decide which bills to support, which committee posts to seek, how much time to devote to fund-raising, and what tradeoffs to make amidst constituent, party, special-interest, and media pressures. The quality of your choices will be tested in a re-election campaign.

      > Sound Bite: Introduction to The Dirksen Center's Web Suite
      Cindy Koeppel, The Dirksen Center CONFIRMED

      Sound Bites are 30-minute sessions devoted to a single topic. In this one, Koeppel, the designer of The Center's Web suite, will introduce the six sites within the suite and illustrate how teachers can use them in their classrooms. Almost 1.5 million "unique visitors" generated about 70 million "hits" on the suite in 2007.

      > Running for Congress: A Consultant's Perspective
      Matt Bisbee, Illinois Executive Director, Victory Enterprises CONFIRMED

      Founded in 1993, Victory Enterprises is a comprehensive political consulting and communications firm. The firm offers a full array of campaign services including survey research, media production and placement, direct mail design, grassroots messaging, web strategy and design as well as one-on-one campaign consulting. Since our inception, we have been involved in over 1,500 campaigns. The presenter will talk about how congressional candidates are recruited and how they develop a strategy for election.

      > On the Road with Presidential Candidates
      Jodi Enda, Journalist

      This presenter has covered the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Knight Ridder Newspapers. Since then she has done considerable freelance writing for various magazines. Enda will talk about the challenges of reporting on this beat, suggest story lines to look out for in 2008, and evaluate the state of presidential campaign reporting this year.

      > Reception at Bradley University
      Workshop teachers

      Enjoy refreshments on the campus of Bradley University and learn more about the University and the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service.

      > Running for Congress: A Candidate's Perspective
      Jim McConoughey, candidate in the Republican primary, 18th congressional district, and CEO of the Heartland Partnership. CONFIRMED

      In his first run for public office, the presenter finished second in the primary to replace Congressman Ray LaHood. McConoughey will talk about his decision to run, the development of a campaign strategy, and the unfolding of the race.

      > Where We Stand in the Presidential Race and What to Look For
      Tim Teehan, National Sales Director, Campaigns and Elections. CONFIRMED

      Campaigns & Elections magazine is a nonpartisan publication with more than 84,000 readers involved in the political process. Lieberman has a unique vantage point from which to observe the unfolding presidential campaigns. Prior to serving as publisher, Lieberman consulted on many campaigns and advocacy programs in the United States and abroad.

      > "I’m No Lady, I’m a Member of Congress": Women in Congress, 1917-2006
      Kathleen Johnson, Historical Publications Specialist, Office of History and Preservation, House of Representatives CONFIRMED

      As one of the authors of Women in Congress-a book chronicling the history of the more than 200 women who have served in the House and the Senate-Johnson will provide background on the publication and its corresponding web component which contains educational materials designed for use in the classroom. She also will discuss the forthcoming publication of Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007, and the many web resources created by the Office of History and Preservation that document the history of the House of Representatives.

      > Sound Bite: Yes, It is Possible to Find Humor in Congress
      Frank H. Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center CONFIRMED

      Relying on gems located in the archives of Members of Congress, Mackaman provides examples of what constituents expect of their representatives. Consider this request of former Congressman Jon Dent: "I am a future inventor. Tell me some of the inventions of the future so I can start on them now."

      > Teaching with Primary Sources
      Cindy Rich, Project Director, Teaching with Primary Sources, Eastern Illinois University CONFIRMED

      The Library of Congress's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program works with an educational consortium of schools, universities, libraries, and foundations to help teachers use the Library’s vast collection of digitized primary sources to enrich their classroom instruction. Schools that have participated in the program know that it encourages educators to embed primary sources into curriculum through all disciplines and grade levels to build a foundation of knowledge, enhance understanding, increase comprehension, and develop multimedia/information literacy skills.

      > From the Campaign Trail: Observations from a Reporter
      Tanya Koonce, political reporter, WCBU Radio CONFIRMED

      How do reporters decide what to cover in a congressional election? What factors affect their relationships with the candidates? How do they know when they've been "spun"? What qualities or skills are required of political reporters? Koonce, who currently covers the 18th congressional district race to replace retiring Congressman Ray LaHood, will address these questions and more.

      > Predicting the Outcome of the Presidential Election
      Frank H. Mackaman, The Dirksen Congressional Center CONFIRMED

      Historians, political scientists, economists, and hobbyists all have devised various models, some sensible, some strange, to predict the outcome of presidential elections. Mackaman will introduce you to several of them before focusing on the one that has proven the most prescient.

      > How to Get Your Point Across to Congress Members
      Stephanie Vance, Advocacy Associates, Washington DC CONFIRMED

      How do you break through the "noise" to communicate with a member of Congress? Vance has the answers. She advises clients on how to reach Congress people effectively by understanding how congressional offices function and process information. She will introduce her online advocacy course - something you can use even after the workshop ends.

      Take a look at The Dirksen Center Web site - http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_programs_CongressClassroom.htm -- to see what participants say about the program.

      * Registration *

      If you are interested in registering for the Congress in the Classroom® 2008 workshop, you can complete an online registration form found at: http://www.dirksencenter.org/programs_CiCapplication.htm