Project Pericles Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ 2013 National Conference | New England College
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Project Pericles Debating for Democracy (D4D)™ 2013 National Conference

Two New England College students are reveling in the recent announcement that they won a nationally-sought award.  The Project Pericles Debating for Democracy (or “D4D”) 2013 National Conference is a campus-based co-curricular where students from member colleges and universities research, develop, and advocate their opinions and positions on current public policy issues.  The D4D program includes a Letters to an Elected Official competition, where students submit letters proposing innovative solutions to a wide variety of issues.  New England College student award-winners, Martina Cohran ‘16 and Mariel Rheingold ’15, wrote a letter to US Representative Ann M. Kuster (D-NH2), on the issue of early childhood education.  Other letters submitted to the competition related to issues ranging from the African American Youth Incarceration, education finance reform, and human trafficking, and were sent to elected officials throughout the United States.  Finalists received a cash award of $250 to apply to an engaged learning project, and the winners will receive $500 to apply to work towards the issue. The ultimate goals of the competition are to engage students around a public policy issue, the political process, and with their elected officials.

NEC students Martina Cohran and Mariel Rheingold submitted “A Letter Concerning the State of Early Childhood Education in the United States” which began, “We urge you to support and sponsor the House of Representatives (H.R.) Bill 1041, also known as “Providing Resources Early for Kids Act of 2013”.  H.R.1041 is an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.  This bill aims to set a national standard for early childhood education, improve focus on individuals by lowering class sizes and improving student-teacher ratios.  The bill also aims to set higher standards and qualifications for teachers while allowing easier access to early childhood education for disadvantaged and Native American students.”

New England College President Michele Perkins, Ed.D. was incredibly proud of the announcement.  “We are so pleased with the benefits of our Project Pericles membership and congratulate Martina Cohran and Mariel Rheingold for their incredible work representing us alongside students from some of the most prestigious and selective colleges in the country.”

About Project Pericles

Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include social responsibility and participatory citizenship as essential elements of their educational programs.

Founded in 2001 by philanthropist Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles works directly with its member institutions, called Pericleans, as they individually and collaboratively develop model civic engagement programs in their classrooms, on their campuses, and in their communities.

Currently, Periclean colleges and universities across the country are each implementing a unique program of curricular and co-curricular initiatives that prepare and encourage students to become active, responsible citizens.  These initiatives include signature Periclean programs – the Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Program, Debating for Democracy (D4D) , and the Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program – and constructively engage students, faculty, administrators, trustees, and alumni in a range of socially-oriented enterprises and collaborations.

By hosting annual meetings of presidents, faculty, and students, Project Pericles helps Pericleans share best practices that promote civic engagement as a significant element of higher education.

Project Pericles continues to earn recognition for its distinctive qualities and impact as its membership gradually expands.  Project Pericles encourages higher education to promote a more just and compassionate society by preparing future generations of thoughtful and involved citizens.