Bar News - April 19, 2017
NH Bar Foundation News: Fellows Target Civics Education, Transitioning Teens
By: Dan Wise
Fostering Legal Independence
Contact Holly Haines if you are interested in participating.
Civics Education Initiative
Contact Jack Crisp for more information.
The NH Bar Foundation’s Fellows program, which seeks to involve members of the legal community in advancing the Foundation’s mission through philanthropy and selected service projects, is making progress on two initiatives.
On April 20, Fellows volunteers will meet with a group of teens at the Nashua Childrens’ Home. These young people are or will soon be transitioning out of the foster care system. The session will cover legal aspects of getting a job. The session is first in a series of informal presentations to be made by teams of Bar Foundation volunteers to youths who are in the custody of the state who are nearing adult legal status. (In most cases, children who are in the custody of the state can choose to be independent at age 18, or accept different levels of services after they graduate from high school, or until they turn 21.)
Milford High School teacher David Alcox, a speaker at the Foundation’s May 10 event, motivates students to learn about civics.
The program, dubbed “Fostering Legal Independence,” was established by the NH Bar Association’s Leadership Academy. After a presentation by 2012 Leader Academy alum Francesca Hennessy, the Fellows are updating the program, recruiting speakers and coordinating with the Division of Children, Youth and Families to hold two events by the end of June. The sessions, held at various locations around the state, will resume in the fall.
Another group of Fellows, led by Jack Crisp, is reaching out to various groups that offer civics education programs to students. The Fellows seek to identify what resources for civics education currently exist in New Hampshire and how lawyers and judges can help improve civics instruction in the schools as well as increase awareness about the importance of civics knowledge among adults.
The civics initiative will take center stage at the Fellows Justice Reception scheduled for Wednesday, May 10, at the McAulffe Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. David Alcox, chair of the NH Social Studies Council and a social studies teacher at Milford High School, will talk about how to instruct and motivate teens to take an interest in constitutional issues. (Alcox’s classes have excelled at state and national competitions as part of the “We the People” program, which is sponsored by the Bar Association.)
Foundation Impact: Where you have your IOLTA account makes a BIG difference. Banks and credit unions paying above-market rates for trust account balances accounted for 75% of IOLTA revenue that funded civil legal aid last year.