[kc_heading_pac_13_pre_headline_8 size=”25″ color=”#000″ ]Fairfax County Court Tour Program – 8th Grade Civics Field Trip[/kc_heading_pac_13_pre_headline_8]
The Fairfax County Eighth (8th) Grade Court Tour Program — originally integrated into a broader, wider spanning government and civics course in 1986 — is a part of a larger program that dates back to 1976. In 1995, the Fairfax Bar Association (FBA) took the reins of what is now referred to as the “Court Tour Program.” A distinguishing aspect of these tours is the level of tour-guide expertise: each group is accompanied by an attorney (FBA member).
The eighth grade is a year of transitioning from childhood to young-adulthood, for many students. By touring the court facilities in person, the students inclined towards a career involving the criminal justice system may be further motivated and inspired, while students who may have never perceived themselves as an attorney, police officer, judge, or other public servant, that there is a world of opportunity waiting for them. According to the program itself,
“[t]he guiding motive behind the Eighth Grade Court Tours Program is to educate the young people of Fairfax County . . . by providing background information about the system . . . [reinforced via] a field trip to the Fairfax County Courthouse. The . . . tour provides a “hands on” experience that helps promote students’ interest and understanding and builds a fuller appreciation of . . . laws that affect them.”
From the Court Tour Program’s outset, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Fairfax Law Foundation combined resources to cover the costs, ultimately enabling court tours for selected eighth grade students from more than 20 Fairfax County middle schools (In Fairfax County, students in middle school are in the 7th and 8th grade).
As local, state, and the federal government all struggle to control spending and cut costs where possible, the Courts Tour Program does have required funding for 2012-13. You may wish to check here, the public resources page of the Fairfax Bar Association website.
Fairfax County Public Schools Court Tour Coordinator, 2012-2013
· Alice Reilly
· Phone: (703) 846-8627
Fairfax Bar Association Court Tour Coordinator, 2012-2013
· Gina Marine
· Phone: (703) 395-5079
Fairfax Law Foundation
Fairfax Bar Association
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