Eastern Missouri Learning Center Reaches 4,000 Students, Adults
More than 4,000 visitors—including school groups, law school students, Boy and Girl Scouts, judges and international dignitaries—visited the St. Louis-based Judicial Learning Center in 2014, according to a report on the center.
The Learning Center, one of a small but growing number of public education facilities in the federal court system, is housed in the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse. “It’s doing a fantastic job,” said Catherine D. Perry, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. “It’s doing exactly what we wanted, which is being a place where the public can come, and especially where school groups on field trips can come.”
The center was honored last year by the American Bar Association for its Law Day program, which focused on voting rights.
“Our Law Day 2014 programming included a school outreach portion, during which representatives from the courts visited classrooms to lead activities on voting rights. Select high school students attended an interactive courthouse field trip on May 1,” said Rachel Marshall, an education specialist for the federal courts in the Eagleton courthouse.
“Having a learning center in the courthouse helps us connect with students and teachers,” Marshall added. “For many, the learning center is the hook which gets them to the building. Once they are here, they can experience the center and also witness the judicial process first hand.”
According to the report, 149 groups, totaling 4,244 visitors, came to the Judicial Learning Center in 2014. The majority of visitors are students in Grades 4-12 who are studying civics and government. In addition to local school students and Scout groups, visitors included adult community groups, law students from Saint Louis and Washington University, Eighth Circuit district judges, and Brazilian judges under the Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program.
More information is available at the Judicial Learning Center’s website. The Center, opened in 2009, was a gift to the court and public from St. Louis lawyers, who formed not-for-profit corporation to create the center.
Some examples of learning centers and educational exhibits include:
- The Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center, located in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Branch Library in Sacramento, Calif.
- the Bell Room Historical Gallery in Kansas City, Mo.;
- an exhibit in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on the history and function of federal courts in the Eastern District of Missouri;
- exhibits in the Albuquerque and Las Cruces, N.M., courthouses about judicial independence, jury trials, and the history of federal and territorial courthouses in New Mexico.