Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) seeks to instill in our nation's youth a deeper understanding of citizenship through values expressed in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights and to educate young people to become active and responsible participants in our society. CRF is dedicated to assuring our country's future by investing in our youth today.
CRF is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civil participation in a democratic society. Under the guidance of a board of directors chosen from the worlds of law, business, government, education, the media, and the community, CRF develops, produces, and distributes programs and materials to teachers, students, and public-minded citizens all across the nation.
CRF's professional staff includes teachers and educators, lawyers, writers and editors, and youth development specialists. Volunteers also provide vital support for many CRF programs and activities and serve as adult role models for youthful participants. To accomplish its goals and objectives, CRF applies its resources in the following areas:
Mock Trial The Mock Trial program is designed to help California students learn about our criminal justice system. Each year since 1978, CRF has developed and distributed a new Mock Trial case and has administered the statewide Mock Trial competition. CRF began the local competition in Los Angeles County in 1980. School districts in 36 California counties participated in the 2011 California State Mock Trial competition, involving more than 8,000 students, and 3,000 judge, lawyer, and teacher volunteers.
Expanding Horizons Internships This CRF program places qualified urban students in law firms, businesses, government offices, and non-profit organizations. It empowers young people to serve as school and community leaders while they gain valuable paid-work experience and college preparation. Since 1995, more than 1,550 students have participated in the program. In 2011, the program placed 94 local students in Los Angeles-area offices.
Professional Development for Teachers CRF offers teacher professional development in Southern California and throughout the nation. In 2011, CRF provided programs and sessions in history, law and government, and civic participation. For example, our collaborative Teaching American History (TAH) projects provided nearly 200 teachers from five US school districts designed to support classroom instruction. TAH projects feature CRF's U.S. history materials and scholars connected to local universities, colleges, and museums.
Publications CRF's data-collection instruments estimate that CRF materials and publications reach nearly 2.4 million students annually. In 2011, CRF continued to develop the Educating About Immigration web site for teachers to address important and timely immigration issues in their classes. CRF's signature newsletter, Bill of Rights in Action, reached over 32,000 educators with four new issues to help teachers and students with content-rich, standards-based curriculum on U.S. history, world history, U.S. government, and current issues. The themes were Economic Crises, Communism, Revolutionary Thinkers, and Law.