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|C-IT Program (Creating an Improved Tomorrow)|
CREATING AN IMPROVED TOMORROW and THE SPEAKER’S BUREAU
C-IT, or “Creating an Improved Tomorrow” is a joint program model for community education by the Bar Association and Foundation and the State’s Attorney’s Office. Past President, Richard Melnick, created this program. In doing so, he created a template for a boots on the ground means of addressing the most critical concerns our community is facing at any given time. C-IT has been working within Montgomery County Public Schools for three years now and are positioned to continue to do so as long as there is a need. We have added a second component to the C-IT program called the Speaker’s Bureau. The Speaker’s Bureau allows us to address any population in the community that wishes to have us share the subject matter C-IT is focusing on in any given year. The bureau has addressed groups as large as 800 students in an assembly to class sizes of 25 or fewer students.
The C-IT program involves regular “in class” involvement in conjunction with faculty by our bar members, essay writing contests, public service announcement contests, legislation writing and mock trials. The first year, the focus was on the Trayvon Martin case and defining justifiable self-defense. The second year we worked with students on the issues of cyberbullying and learned from parents of two students who committed suicide as a result of their victimization. The third year we have worked to enlighten students, faculty and parents about the prevalence of and the risks of prescription drug abuse, heroin and synthetic drugs.
The Speaker’s Bureau enables us to share our well researched materials, power point and live presentations with other schools, religious organizations, civic groups, sports teams, and the leadership of these groups as well. Our speakers are comprised of carefully selected attorneys, overdose survivors, former addicts, parents who have lost a child, police, and medical personnel. We tailor our presentations to the groups we speak to and their needs. Between September 2015 and April 2016, we spoke to over 11,000 students and over 500 parents.
The opioid and heroin crisis will remain the focus of our program for the coming year as well. If you are aware of a group that may wish to learn more about the subject, including not only the risks but also the immunity the expanded Good Samaritan Law provides, please contact Steve Chaikin at email@example.com or Lynn Caudle Boynton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The BAMC Foundation funded the program last year due to the generosity of a few bar members. The Foundation exhausted those funds last year, so we are seeking to raise funds to support the project again this year.
We made a plea last fall for donations and we raised about $8000.00 for this program thanks to the generosity of our members. The funds are needed to cover the cost of transportation of students to and from the courthouse for mock trials which are the culminating event at the end of the year. The mock trial is followed by plaques and awards for the trials and for essays, as well as a luncheon for the students. We also fund public service announcement contests at the Schools, see the link below for the winners from Damascus High School in 2016. If we are fortunate enough to raise funds in excess of these basic costs, those funds would be used as college scholarship awards for the best essays.
If you would like to donate to our 501(c)(3), please use this link. Please consider making a donation specifically for this purpose by noting “C-IT” on your check, as it is not covered by some other part of the budget. We truly appreciate it.