We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

Discovering Democracy IV Director Val Crofts & students on “YOUR TALK SHOW” – WCLO (1230 AM) at 10 am tomorrow!

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John Eyster
Thursday, April 18, 2013

Discovering Democracy IV Director Val Crofts & students on “YOUR TALK SHOW” – WCLO (1230 AM) at 10 am tomorrow!

I am looking forward to the opportunity to hear the reflections of Val Crofts, founder/director of Discovering Democracy and a couple of his students with TIM BREMEL, host of “YOUR TALK SHOW” at 10 am CDT tomorrow (Friday, April 19). I encourage you to listen too.

WCLO is 1230 AM. You can use this link to get more information, “Your Talk Show.” Podcasts of the program are online. I often have to listen to podcasts when I am not able to listen to programs live on air. If you are not able to listen tomorrow at 10 am, check the YOUR TALK SHOW podcasts to listen at your convenience.

Anticipating that radio discussion, I invited VAL CROFTS to write a REFLECTION statement on his 4th annual DD field study.

As background for your information and reading as you wish, I posted several blogs about the fourth annual Discovering Democracy field study, the first was one month ago – March 17, 2013, “HOPE for our future! Encouraging! OUTstanding young adults!” I reported on three special programs which enhanced my AUDACITY of HOPE for our future: WI Academic Decathlon, WASHINGTON SEMINAR and Discovering Democracy.

Since I was in Washington, DC with DD IV on field studym I posted several times directly from Washington, DC. You are welcome to check those WE THE PEOPLE blog posts:

“TODAY is departure day for the 4th annual Discovering Democracy field study.” – March 19, 2013.

“First day of Spring! Discovering Democracy IV arrived DC!!” – March 20, 2013.

“Discovering Democracy IV – CAPITOL HILL DAY” – March 21, 2013.

“REP RYAN’s RESOLUTION passed in House with Discovering Democracy IV WATCHING!” – March 22, 2013.

“Discovering Democracy IV HOME safe & sound!” – March 25, 2013.

The Milton Courier published an article on March 13, 2013 about the departure of Milton high school’s DD IV for field study, you can use this link to read that article, “Students heading to nation’s capital.”

TOMORROW (FRI., 4/19) is our first opportunity to hear about DD IV on WCLO’s “YOUR TALK SHOW” directly from people who were on that field study. Anticipating that on air program, I invited VAL CROFTS, social studies teacher at Milton High School, the founder and director of DD to reflect on his 4th annual DD field study. Val is an alumnus of WASHINGTON SEMINAR (1989). He developed DD as a field study on significant public policy issues on the basis of his own WS experience and put icing on the cake with his conscientious creativity and commitment. COMMENDATION & GRATITUDE to VAL CROFTS!

I am happy to share the blog post which VAL wrote:

“First of all, to my friend and mentor, John Eyster, thank you for the opportunity to write a guest blog discussing my field study program from Milton High School, Discovering Democracy. The program is in its' fourth year of existence and has had over 100 AP Government and Politics students travel and work in our nation's capital. Discovering Democracy 2013 was a huge success! I cannot find words to explain what an amazing group of young adults I had the pleasure of working with this year.

“42 students departed Milton High School on March 19, prepared to work and interview national experts in their 42 respective research topics. My students picked their topics last fall and wrote a research paper detailing the histories of their topics in December. The next phase of their research was their interview portion, which took place on field study in Washington from March 19-25, 2013.

“It is an amazing phenomenon to witness high school students leave Milton HS and return from field study with the self-confidence of college students. They grow up so much throughout the week and become more and more independent as the week goes on. On Wednesday, my students followed me around and were very hesitant to lose sight of me. By late Thursday, I was following them around, proud of them leading me around DC!

“Students this year interviewed experts in all areas of Washington. From the president of the NRA to the White House curator. From heads of the Pentagon to national leaders in education. This years' group had some of the best interviews of any of our years in DC.

“One student spent the day at a leading nuclear energy company and was invited to the birthday party of the company president as his guest. Other students interviewed members of the press, lobbyists and policy leaders on Capitol Hill and in special interest groups in their research areas. I am very proud of their accomplishments. We also spent time exploring the sites and culture of the city and an afternoon at Mt. Vernon. We spent an afternoon at the battlefield of Antietam en route home to Milton to reflect on what previous generations have sacrificed so we could be here and have the lives we have today in the greatest nation on earth.

“There is no way that this year would have gone as well as it did without my amazing staff: John Holt is my assistant director and has been on all four field studies with me. He is a genius in politics and history and fantastic with the students on field study. Dan Mayer, Jennifer Williams, Renee Stieve, and Jim Martin all brought great compassion and knowledge to the field study as well. I am blessed to work with such amazing educators and people!

“There is also no Discovering Democracy without John Eyster. It was an honor to have John travel to DC and be with us, observing our field study this year. John is the master of conducting a field study and I learned everything I know about running a field study by observing John when I was on Washington Seminar in 1989. Students that have been on field study with either Washington Seminar or Discovering Democracy owe John a debt of gratitude.Thanks again my friend!

“I invite you, the public, to please come to Milton High School on May 30th from 7-9 pm in the library to meet the students of Discovering Democracy and talk to them about their topics at our annual research fair. All 43 of my AP Gov students will be showcasing their knowledge to the public and I know that you would enjoy learning from them. We look forward to seeing you there! Welcome!"

Signed: Val Crofts

VAL & I have invited the DD IV staffers to share their reflections of the 2013 field study. I look forward to posting those reflections over the days ahead.

We have also invited the DD IV students to write an OPINION STATEMENT explaining their individual analysis of their self-selected significant public policy issues to share on my WE THE PEOPLE blog. The students have been encouraged to be sure to take time for analysis and cogitation as they develop their own personal stances on their research issues. I plan to have those OPINION STATEMENTS coming close to the DD IV showcase event on Thursday, May 30. Note that date with VAL CROFTS’ INVITATION to YOU – each and every one – to come talk with the DD IV students in person about each research issue. I plan posting some of the OPINION STATEMENTS in the days before that event.

As he wraps up his 4th annual DD field study, VAL CROFTS is already busy preparing for his 5th annual DD field study projected for Tuesday, April 8, 2014 after school to Monday, April 14, 2014 early morning. Already the 5th annual DD field study! Go for it, VAL!

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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