HARRISBURG (April 27, 2017) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Young Lawyers Division will present its 2017 Liberty Bell Award to Beth Specker and Anne Spector of The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement on May 10 during the state association’s Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.
The Liberty Bell Award honors individuals for their outstanding community service and for promoting the “blessing of liberty” guaranteed by the Constitution.
Specker is the executive director and Spector is the curriculum director of The Rendell Center, a nonprofit in Philadelphia that offers opportunities for educators and students to develop the knowledge, practices and dispositions of engaged citizenship. Both are being recognized for their “extraordinary work in promoting community involvement, active education and volunteerism.”
Through their efforts, numerous programs have been created to fill voids or enhance the current civics curricula in Pennsylvania schools. One important example is of a literature-based mock trial program created for Philadelphia schools. The center, which partnered with the PBA Law-Related Education Committee, brought together volunteer attorneys and teachers to work with students to develop a mock trial script based on an assigned work of literature. The script was then acted out before a judge, as well as a jury of students from a different class. The program, which began with two schools, has expanded to seven, engaging more students in the process and profession of law.