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Sossaman honored by state for civics education

Sossaman honored by state for civics education
The Arizona Department of Education granted Sossaman Middle School its Excellence in Civic Engagement Program award in August.
The award is based on classroom instruction, discussion of current events, service-learning, extracurricular activities, student participation in school governance and simulations of democratic processes.
Seventh-grade Social Studies teacher Alexander Mackenzie said Sossaman’s participation in community service is what really set them apart from other Arizona schools.
“A crucial part of the human experience is cooperation skills,” Mr. Mackenzie said. “People are not born knowing how to cooperate. It is not innate. They have to learn how to interact with others.”
Students in seventh-grade social studies are required to complete community service. Students who are involved in various clubs on campus also participate in community service.
According to Mr. Mackenzie, the school really prides itself on the mock trials held. The trials teach students about the roles in court and the constitutionality of laws.
“By teaching students these civic skills, we are teaching them how to asses different viewpoints and arguments,” Mr. Mackenzie said. “They are learning how to change their viewpoint in the face of new evidence.”
Sossaman Middle School will be recognized on September 16 at the 4th annual Excellence in Civic Engagement School Recognition Ceremony at Arizona State University’s West Campus.