FHS We the People Team Headed to National Finals
Tee Party Fundraising Event Coming Up March 11 At Topgolf
Writer: Matt Keating
The Fishers High School We the People team needs your financial help to help them make it to the National Finals in Washington D.C.
The We the People program, which has been in existence since 1987, teaches students the constitutional principles the United States was founded on in the hopes of creating a more educated citizenry.
Liz Paternoster, a Fishers High School (FHS) Government and History teacher, and the We the People team coach, says the kids need $50,000 to participate.
“We are representing the State of Indiana at the competition, so the Indiana Bar Foundation has graciously donated more than $15,000,” Paternoster says. “We are looking to raise $30,000 to go. So far, we have raised about $10,000.” Paternoster added that golf lovers can help by enjoying an upcoming golf party to raise money for the trip, which would include a five day, four-night stay in a hotel in the Washington D.C. area. The finals are held in Congressional committee rooms on Capitol Hill.
“We have an amazing fundraising opportunity coming up March 11 through Topgolf,” she says. “The premier golf entertainment complex is hosting a fundraiser for the team. Participants will be able to enjoy a VIP experience with three hours of Topgolf play, food and beverages. In addition, there will be amazing prizes and gifts given.”
Paternoster says the kids are excited about both the fundraising and participating in the finals. “This group of students have responded with joy and ambition,” she says. “In order to prepare, they have read books, met with their advisors and kept up on current events. To have the chance to compete on a national stage and represent your entire state is a huge honor, and they are working their hardest to represent Hoosiers well.”
Paternoster noted that in over 30 years of the We the People National Finals, no team from Indiana has ever won. If they win or place second, they would make history in Indiana.
“As a teacher, I have already won,” she says. “I teach about the importance of citizens invoking action. I emphasize that government is not needed for everything. This group hosted and served a breakfast to veterans on Veteran’s Day. In addition, they shopped, with their own money, to help those less fortunate have an incredible Christmas this year.”
Paternoster believes education is the cornerstone of a successful democracy.
“I believe strongly in this, and that is why I chose to become the coach of the team 11 years ago,” she says. “Our program has continued to grow and become more and more successful each year due to the support of great people that believe in education as deeply as I do.
“In addition, it takes a village to raise a child. I have the most amazing village of people that help me raise these children to be the absolute best leaders in the future. I’m extremely blessed in this way.”
Paternoster adds that the Fishers community has been tremendously supportive.
“Representative Todd Huston, Mayor Scott Fadness, the City Council, local judges, our principal, Jason Urban, the staff of Fishers High School and our Superintendent have all assisted us in our preparation,” she says.
Paternoster added that the kids are looking forward to sightseeing throughout Washington D.C., which will bring the last six months of their studying to life. They will be visiting Arlington National Cemetery, the Capitol, the White House and the Supreme Court.
This all ties in with the We the People curriculum, which complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of U.S. Constitutional democracy.
The We the People program’s culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of judges acting as members of Congress.
Making it all the way to the National Finals means the FHS We the People team has been outstanding.
“Any contribution people can make would help us reach our financial goal for this wonderful trip,” she says. “All donations are tax deductible and you will be sent a letter promptly for your tax records. The kids are really excited and they can’t wait.”
For more information on the FHS We the People Topgolf fundraiser, visit freshtix.com/events/fhswtpteeparty.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/send-team-Indiana-to-nationals.