California Chief Justice presents award to Bakersfield's Golden Valley High School

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Chief Justice of California will be in Bakersfield for an awards ceremony at Golden Valley High School.

Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, the 28th Chief Justice of California, was at Golden Valley High for which she presented the school with a Civic Learning Award of Excellence. Only three schools in California received the award co-sponsored by the Chief Justice and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. 

"It's refreshing to see how creative educators and motivated students learn about the power of democracy," said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. "These courses and programs help motivate our leaders of tomorrow."

The Chief Justice's visit included firsthand accounts from students and teachers of the school's award-winning civics programs such as "Project Citizen" and "We, the People and the Constitution." 

The Chief Justice was accompanied by Kern County Superior Court Judge, the Honorable Michael G. Bush.

Also on Friday, Judge Bush intends to visit Centennial High School at 1 p.m. to present that school with a Civic Learning Award of Merit. Only 22 schools in California received a Civic Learning Award which includes three levels of recognition; of Excellence, of Distinction and of Merit.

Winners were selected by a panel of experts based on the school's depth and breadth of research-based best practices in civic education. The Civic Learning Award has six "best practices" criteria. They are:

1. Provide instruction in government, history, law, and democracy.  

2. Discuss current local, national, and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.  

3. Design and implement programs that provide students with the opportunity to apply what they learn through performing community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom instruction.  

4. Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities. 

5. Encourage student participation in school governance. 

6. Encourage students' participation in simulations of democratic processes and procedures. 

This is the first year Civic Learning Awards have been presented. 

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