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Programs Available Year-round

  • HOST A GUEST READER AT AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:The first week of March as part of Read Across America Week, or at any time, judges can visit elementary schools to read We the Kids by David Catrow or other age-appropriate books. We the Kids is a humorous picture book that helps children understand the U.S. Constitution. It contains the actual words of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Readings are available both in person and online. Recommended age-appropriate books are:
    • Turning Pages, My Life Story by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor;
    • All Rise, The Story of Ketanji Brown Jackson by Carole Boston Weatherford;
    • Vote for Our Future! by Margaret McNamara and Micah Player;
    • Democracy for Dinosaurs: A Guide for Young Citizens by Laurie Krasny Brown;
    • What Can a Citizen Do? By Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris;
    • Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone;
    • Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff;
    • Marching with Aunt Susan by Claire Rudolph Murphy;
    • Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein.
  • WRITE WELCOME LETTERS TO NEW CITIZENS: Students can welcome newly naturalized citizens by writing letters to them. The court will then use these letters at naturalization ceremonies by giving them to new citizens, reading them during the ceremony, or displaying them in the courthouse. It may also be possible for students to personally deliver their letters during a naturalization ceremony.
  • ATTEND A NATURALIZATION CEREMONY: The court can invite students or a community group to attend a naturalization ceremony at the courthouse and meet with the presiding judge following the ceremony. It may also be possible for participants to attend a naturalization ceremony online. Ceremonies are generally held on Fridays but may be held on other days if requested.
  • PLAY A LEGAL TRIVIA GAME: The school, with the involvement of a judge or attorney, can prepare a class on a legal topic and then conduct a fun trivia game with the judge or attorney. The background preparation/learning component and the trivia game may be held in person or online.
  • MEET A JUDGE: The court can host an in-person or online visit to the courthouse for a class or community group to meet a federal judge, engage in a Q&A session, and/or address a specific legal topic.
  • ENGAGE WITH A CAREER PATH PANEL: The court can host an in-person or online visit to the courthouse for a class or community group to meet a diverse panel of judges, probation officers, court staff, and/or attorneys. Court participants can speak to students about their work and the paths they took to get to their current careers.
  • HOST A CIVICS CLASS COLLABORATION: Judges and/or attorneys can collaborate with a teacher to help teach a specific topic that is part of the class’s existing syllabus. They can participate in person or online to co-teach a single session, teach multiple sessions, or teach a single day.
  • HOST A COURT-TAUGHT CIVICS CLASS: Judges and/or attorneys can teach an interactive 50-minute class on a range of topics, in person or online, with course materials provided by the court.
  • PARTICIPATE IN A MOCK HEARING: This half-day interactive learning activity stimulates critical thinking and fosters civil discourse skills. The students participate as attorneys and/or jurors, with the assistance of volunteer attorney mentors and judges. The program involves self-reflection and discussion prompts that help students identify what they would do in tense situations and controversial conversations.
  • PARTICIPATE IN A MOCK TRIAL: In this immersive program, students enact a mock trial in a real federal courtroom. Before the trial, the students will study and discuss as a class the cases on which the mock trial fact pattern is based. The class will then travel to one of the three federal courthouses in Bridgeport, New Haven, or Hartford. One student will be chosen to serve as the mock trial judge, assisted in their role by a federal judge. Attorneys will coach the student attorneys and the mock jurors in their different roles. After the trial concludes, the students will have an opportunity to speak with the judge. Lunch can be provided.

Interested in registering for any of these programs?