Pennsylvania Judges Unveil Educational Toolkit to Teach Children about the Pennsylvania Judiciary

Joining schools across the state, Pennsylvania courts launched a digital toolkit aimed at helping children learn about the work and role of the Pennsylvania courts. The project was spearheaded by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Commission on Judicial Independence.

“Pennsylvania is rich with history that has shaped our landscape from Philadelphia to Erie and impacted the nation but so much of that information lacks detail on how the work and the role of the courts plays a significant role,” said Commission Co-Chair, former federal judge and current Dickinson College President John E. Jones III.

“Pennsylvania judges are part of the communities in which kids live but too much critical
information is missing to help kids understand why the courts matter so much. If we can reach them through technology and teach them about the critical role the courts play in their lives, we can light a fire in the next generation of civic leaders.”

The toolkit include:
• Digital one-pagers on topics exploring the layers of the Pennsylvania court system, how the courts work, the importance of judicial independence, the role of a judge, how judges are elected, and how a case progresses through the system and much more;
• Videos to complement and further expand on topics, giving a visual aid to students and
• 3D video offering tours of courtrooms, complete with interactive educational points to learn more about the effects in the rooms; and
• Games for the younger audience including the Flat Judge project, modeled after the Flat
Stanley project used by schools across the nation.

“A critical part of the mission of the Judicial Independence Commission is to educate all
Pennsylvanians about the work and role of the courts in our communities,” Commission Co-Chair and Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer said. “This new resource incorporates concepts and ideas which we hope will be appealing and educational for students at all grade levels but also complement curriculum currently being used by school districts across the state.”