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  • Cindy Koeppel
    COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: April 2003 Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center s Communicator - a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 7, 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 --


      <<<Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants>>>

      ***DEADLINE: May 1, 2003***

      The Dirksen Congressional Center invites applications for grants
      totaling $35,000 in the two selection rounds, October 2002 and May 2003,
      to help teachers, curriculum developers, and others improve the quality
      of civics instruction, with priority on the role of Congress in our
      federal government. Areas of interest include designing lesson plans,
      creating student activities, and applying instructional technology in
      the classroom.

      Teachers (4th through 12th grades), community college faculty, and
      college and university faculty are eligible as are teacher-led student
      teams and individuals who develop curriculum. Priority will be given to
      the following disciplines: history, government, social studies,
      political science, and education.

      Institutions and organizations are eligible under certain conditions.
      Inter-institutional consortia and other groups of individuals may apply,
      but grant funds may not be used to defray indirect costs or overhead
      expenses. The funds are intended solely to produce "deliverables" of use
      to classroom teachers.

      Final proposals must be e-mailed or postmarked by no later than May 1,
      2003. Complete information about eligibility and application procedures
      can be found at The Center's Web site --
      http://www.dirksencenter.org/grantmichelciviced.htm. The Center does not
      provide an application form. You may find it helpful to review the
      sample grant proposal at --
      http://www.dirksencenter.org/grantmichelcivicsample.htm. Frank Mackaman
      is the program officer -- mailto:fmackaman@...

      <<< Congratulations CongressLink! >>>

      "Tech Learning: The Resource for Education Technology Leaders" -
      selected CongressLink as the site of the day based on its functionality,
      content, design and organization, and use of technology. Find this
      Selection criteria can be found at:

      <<< Clickschooling Citation >>>

      "Clickschooling: Curriculum Ideas for Homeschoolers" - searches the
      Internet to recommend one educational Web site each day: Monday-Math;
      Tuesday-Science; Wednesday-Language Arts; Thursday-History and Social
      Studies; Friday-Virtual Field Trips, and Weekends are for electives -
      art, music, foreign languages, and more. Congress for Kids, falling
      under the history and social studies category, was recommended as the
      site of the day on March 13.

      <<< Government Printing Office -- GPO >>>

      The United States government is well represented on the Internet. Many
      government agencies have designed Web sites to disseminate information
      and advertise products and services. Physical access to U.S. Government
      Documents is important. In the age of the Internet, the complexity of
      access can be navigated and achieved with the assistance of resources
      posted on The Dirksen Center's Web suite -

      U.S. government documents are essential in supporting teaching and
      research in many academic departments, schools, and programs. Through
      the Government Printing Office (GPO) and its predecessor agencies, the
      government provides online access to a variety of information since
      1790. Find our AboutGovernment hot link, "Government Printing Office
      (GPO)" at: http://www.aboutgovernment.org/legislativebranch.htm

      "GPO Access" is a service of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).
      It links the public, at not cost, to electronic information available
      from all three branches of the federal government. This reliable and
      timely service can be found at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/. "GPO
      Access" includes the Congress Record, the official daily record of the
      floor proceedings of the House and Senate. It reports on all floor
      debates, including material submitted by the members in support of their
      positions on various bills and issues of the day. The GPO publishes the
      Congressional Record and offers an online, searchable database for 1995,
      1996, and 1997. Find "The Congressional Record via GPO Access" at:

      "GPO Access" also contains over 1,900 databases. Those that pertain to
      Congress are listed below:

      (1) Congressional Bills - Contains all published versions of each bill
      of Congress

      (2) Congressional Directory - The official directory of the U.S.
      Congress, prepared by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP).

      (3) Congressional Hearings - Meetings of a committee or subcommittee to
      take testimony in order to gather information and opinions on proposed
      legislation, conduct an investigation, or review the operation or other
      aspects of a federal agency or program.

      (4) Congressional Record - The official record of the debates and
      proceedings of the House and Senate.

      (5) Congressional Record Index - Serves as the index to the
      "Congressional Record."

      (6) GAO Reports - Contain reports on audits, surveys, investigations,
      and evaluations of federal programs conducted by the General Accounting
      Office (GAO).

      (7) History of Bills - Lists legislative actions on bills that are
      reported in the "Congressional Record."

      (8) House Journal - The official record of proceedings of each
      legislative day in the House of Representatives.

      (9) Public Laws - Contains laws signed by the President.

      (10) United States Code - The codification by subject matter of the
      general and permanent laws of the United States.

      To link to resources that detail these legislative applications, find
      "Government Printing Office" at:

      Teachers can use many of these sources in combination. For example, the
      Congressional Bills, History of Bills, Congressional Record, Public
      Laws, and United States Code sources can be used to obtain a detailed
      history of a bill. The "GPO Access" Training Manual is available on the
      Internet in PDF format and includes a section that demonstrates how
      various sources relate to each other. On page 47 of this training
      manual, you will find an example of how to use "GPO Access" to obtain to
      detailed history of a bill or to track legislation currently proposed in
      Congress. Download the training manual at:

      Teachers, do your students know that the executive branch of our
      government is made up of more than two hundred different agencies and
      corporations? These agencies and corporations administer government
      programs in all areas of American life. We know many of these agencies
      and corporations by their acronyms. Have your students polish up their
      familiarity with the acronyms' names by taking the "Acquired American
      Acronyms" quiz on Congress for Kids at:

      <<< Featured Project >>>

      This month our featured project is a $4,000 Robert H. Michel Civic
      Education Grant awarded to Plainville High School in Connecticut. This
      project, "Curriculum Units for Civics and American Government Courses,"
      developed a comprehensive concept-based curriculum for both the civics
      course and the American government course at Plainville High School.
      Each curriculum unit will include Performance Based Learning and
      Assessment tasks that engage students in learning about government.
      Teachers will be able to determine what the students know and how they
      apply their knowledge about the critical concepts in civics and
      government. Learn more about this project and others at:

      Do you have a project? Submit a grant proposal! For more information
      about how to submit a Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants proposal,
      please visit: http://www.dirksencenter.org/grantmichelciviced.htm

      <<< Department Dim or Agency Able? >>>

      1. What U.S. government department or agency gathers strategic
      information about other countries, evaluates it, and passes it on to the

      A) General Services Administration
      B) Central Intelligence Agency
      C) Environmental Protection Agency
      D) Bureau of Labor Statistics

      2. Lobbyists for school administrators try writing letters, testifying
      at agency hearings, and other ways to influence the decisions of what
      U.S. government department or agency?

      A) Department of Labor
      B) Commerce Department
      C) Department of Education
      D) Food and Drug Administration

      3. The United States Secret Service, which provides protection for the
      president, vice president, and other officials, is a branch of the

      A) Department of Justice
      B) Department of Treasury
      C) Department of Defense
      D) Department of Labor

      4. The main difference between private and government corporations is
      that _____

      A) One has a board of directors and the other has executive officers.
      B) Investors support private corporations and Congress supports
      government corporations.
      C) One reinvests profits and the other returns them to taxpayers.
      D) Private corporations are flexible and government corporations are

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

      That's all for April! Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the
      Communicator. If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, contact
      Cindy Koeppel at mailto:ckoeppel@... Your feedback makes a
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