Court for Kids - Marin Superior Court

Community Outreach icon Project Name: Court for Kids
Court: Marin Superior Court
   Links: Website

Overview/Program Description:

Court for Kids is a program that teaches children about the court system. Generally children learn that court is a bad place from family, friends, or the TV. The court is trying to educate children on what services it has to offer. The court has a Community Advisory Committee and Court for Kids was a project sponsored by that group. A school principal was selected to be on the Community Advisory Committee and she wanted to help kids better understand what courts did and why. Her concern stemmed from what she would see daily at her school and the confusion and misunderstandings that some students had as to their parents' involvement, or their own, in the court system, typically in the family court.

Court for Kids is entirely the creation of the kids in a 5th grade class. They researched courts, interviewed court personnel and judicial officers, took pictures, wrote the script, and created the cartoons doing both video and voice. They also did the Spanish translations. The bench worked with them in vetting the script for accuracy. The Community Advisory Committee and the court served as sources and mentors for this year-long project, meeting with the students and helping with field trips to the court. Court for Kids has a definite Marin context - with the recurring character of Frank Lloyd Wright who designed the Marin Civic Center - but its discussion of courts and kids in court is universal.

Program Benefits/Savings:

The students definitely benefitted from this creative and interactive project but also through their contact with the court. The school met many of its core educational requirements. Since the presentation is on the court's website, other children who view it will come away with a better understanding of our court system.