Last year, the ISBA and IJA brought civics education to Illinois classrooms in order to increase public understanding of the legal profession in our state. One year later and the students aren’t the only ones receiving this specialized form of education. Now, for the first time, adults are getting a crash course in civics outside of the typical classroom setting.
Judge Michael J. Chmiel is now expanding the “Courtroom to Classroom” program to adult groups at various rotary clubs, VFWs, and Jaycees in Illinois.
The goal of this project is to educate the community on the basics of our national and state government, and to increase the public’s awareness of the rights and privileges Illinois residents are entitled to as citizens of this state and country.
Why do this now? Recent studies have shown the general public lacks a basic understanding of the rule of law here in the United States. For example, only one-third of Americans can name all three branches of government. Another third can’t name any branch at all.
Judge Chmiel introduced the pilot program earlier this month at Huntley Rotary Club in northern Illinois, and will continue to sponsor these educational sessions across Illinois.
Stay tuned for more dates for these civics programs throughout the state.