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The League of Women Voters of South Carolina congratulates Chief Justice Jean H. Toal of the S.C. Supreme Court on her receipt of the inaugural National Center for State Courts “Sandra Day O’Connor Award for the Advancement of Civics Education.”
The award was established in 2010 to honor an organization, court or person who has promoted, inspired, improved or led an innovation or accomplishment in the field of civics education.
We applaud Chief Justice Toal’s efforts to bring civics education into classrooms for South Carolina students. Through her support for programs such as the “iCivics” web-based interactive civics education program; the “Justice Case Files” educational graphic novel series; the Class Action Program, which brings middle and high school students to the state Supreme Court to hear oral arguments; the Case of the Month Program, which provides streaming video of a case argued before the state Supreme Court; and the S.C. Supreme Court Institute, which is held for middle and high school social studies teachers to teach them how to bring law to life for their students, Justice Toal enriches our students’ understanding of their government and enables them to be better-informed citizens.
Civics education is central to the mission of the League of Women Voters. Since 1920, our organization has encouraged informed and active participation in government, working to increase citizen understanding of and influence on major public policy issues through education and advocacy.
For the last 10 years, the League of Women Voters Education Fund has focused on educating citizens about our nation’s system of separation of powers and highlighting the vital need for protecting a fair and independent judiciary.
Last fall, the LWVSC launched a statewide civic education campaign that aims to promote transparency, independence and diversity in the South Carolina courts.
Through the next year and beyond, Leagues across the state will hold public education events, activities and programs that aim to increase public knowledge about the third branch of government.
We thank Justice Toal for her work to educate the public about our state’s justice system.
President, League of Women Voters of South Carolina