Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education
The Louisiana Center for Law and Civic Education (LCLCE) has been named the 2011 recipient of the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education by the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). The award honors an organization, court, or individual who has promoted, inspired, improved, or led an innovation or accomplishment in the field of civics education related to the justice system.
The LCLCE is a nonprofit organization that coordinates, implements, and develops law and civics-education programs; trains educators on how to teach civics-education programs; and assists with the delivery of law and civics-education programs throughout Louisiana. The organization was established in 1992, and contains several components and programs, including Lawyers in the Classroom/Judges in the Classroom; We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution; Annual Summer Institute for Social Studies Educators; and Law Signature Schools.
See photos of civic education outreach activities in Louisana classrooms implemented by the LCLCE.
Louisiana Chief Justice Catherine D. Kimball and Louisiana Supreme Court Judicial Administrator Timothy F. Averill nominated the LCLCE for the O'Connor Award. In a letter of reference, Louisiana 4th Judicial District Court Judge C. Wendell Manning summed up the organization's impact on Louisiana students: "The lesson plans and programs are interactive, transforming instruction in civics and law related education into a fun experience for both students and teachers. In a nut shell, the LCLCE makes law and civics education come alive in the classroom."
This is the second year the O'Connor Award has been presented. The first recipient was South Carolina Chief Justice Jean H. Toal. The award is named for retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in honor of her commitment to improving civics education. Since retiring from the bench in 2006, Justice O'Connor has become a tireless advocate of civics education, working to increase awareness and understanding of how our government works. She also established iCivics, a program that uses Web-based educational tools to teach civics education and to inspire students to be active participants in society.