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Elementary Students Join the Pennsylvania Bar Association to Celebrate Law Day’s 50th Anniversary

HARRISBURG (April 29, 2008) — Scores of elementary school students, colorful flags, inspiring messages and a large birthday cake will highlight the 50th anniversary celebration of Law Day at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 2, in the State Capitol Rotunda. The event is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Bar Association and funded by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the association’s affiliated charitable organization.

President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Law Day a “day of national dedication to the principle of government under law.” Pennsylvania’s 2008 Law Day theme, “Growing Strong Citizens,” explores the meaning of the rule of law and its role in a free society.

“For five decades, Law Day has provided opportunities for our young people to learn more about our country, our legal system and the role each of us plays in a democracy,” said Andrew F. Susko, president of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. “We’re pleased that elementary school students will join us in the grand Rotunda as we talk about the rule of law and have some food and fun to celebrate this landmark anniversary of Law Day.”

Susko said that the bar association has joined with Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge and Pennsylvania First Lady Marjorie O. Rendell in forming the Pennsylvania Coalition for Representative Democracy (PennCORD). Founded along with the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the National Constitution Center, the initiative is a unique union of educational, advocacy and government organizations that are committed to improving civic learning for students.

Additional speakers at the May 2 celebration will include the following: Beth Specker, chief of staff, Office of the First Lady, Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell; Beth Olanoff, director, Pennsylvania Department of Education Policy Office; and Kathy Benton, executive assistant, office of Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione, Philadelphia.

Students attending the celebration will be from the Covenant Christian Academy in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County; Good Shepherd School in Camp Hill, Cumberland County; Camp Curtin Elementary School, Career Technology Academy and Marshall School in Harrisburg, Dauphin County; Mechanicsburg Middle School, Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County; Thomas Holtzman Jr. Elementary School and Susquehanna Township High School, Susquehanna Township, Dauphin County;

During the ceremony, Connor Ward, a fifth grader at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in Beaver, will be recognized for winning the “Growing Strong Citizens” poster contest. His winning artwork is used on the event program cover and on the cover of the Law Day lesson planning guide made available to lawyers, judges and teachers throughout the state. Karen Balaban, president of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, will present Ward with a certificate and a $100 savings bond.

Founded in 1895, the Pennsylvania Bar Association strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 29,000 lawyers who are members of the association.