C-SPAN Challenges Students to Compete in National Documentary Contest

Are you a policy wonk? Then you should enter this contest!!

This Year's Theme: Message to the President

C-SPAN is asking students to consider what issue the president should address in 2013, and create a video documentary explaining why it's important.

This Year's Theme is : Message to the President

What do you think is important and should be addressed by the president? Make a short film and enter it in this contest for a chance to win some cash!!. It will be fun to do and a great item to put on your resume (some day!).

Now in its ninth year, C-SPAN's national competition invites all middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grade 9-12) to produce a five- to eight-minute video documentary using C-SPAN programming.

This year, students will have the opportunity to produce a documentary focusing on "A Message to the President: What's the most important issue the president should consider in 2013?"

The C-SPAN Education Foundation supports the contest by awarding 75 student and 11 teacher prizes, totaling $50,000 in cash.

Entries must represent varying points of view, and incluide C-SPAN video that supports the documentary's topic. Students, working alone or in groups up to three, must upload their videos by January 18, 2013, and winners will be announced in March. A full list of guidelines, FAQ's and past winning videos can be found at studentcam.org.

If enough students enter from Ann Arbor we can reserve a night to run the documentaries and you can invite all your friends!!

Community Forum: The Federal Role In Public Education: Pre-K Through Grade 12

Thursday October 6, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Do you have opinions on the topic of what you are taught in school and how the federal government impacts the curriculum? The League of Women Voters of the U.S. has undertaken a new study on the federal role in public education, pre-K through grade 12.

Issues of equity, funding, and standards/assessment will be the focus of the discussions, as well as how the new standards called Common Core State Standards will be used by the federal government. A panel discussion with area specialists in these fields of education will get you more information and a chance to express your thoughts.

AADL Productions Podcast: Helen Thomas

Helen ThomasHelen Thomas

When she was in town last week speaking at the Michigan Theater to promote her newest book, Amy and I had the intimidating yet thrilling chance to interview Helen Thomas. We talked with her about her experiences in the White House Press Corps, where she sat for decades asking presidents and press secretaries alike the questions they were hoping she wouldn't. While Amy and I didn't ask of her quite the sort of tough questions Ms. Thomas is famous for, we did get her reflections on presidents past and present, her thoughts on the state of journalism, and her feelings about how America has changed in her nearly 75 years of reporting.

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AADL_Productions_Podcast-Helen_Thomas.mp3 31.71 MB

Helen Thomas at the Michigan Theater

helenthomashelenthomasSince John F. Kennedy's presidency, Helen Thomas has covered more presidents as a member of the White House Press Corps than any journalist working today. When she appears at The Michigan Theater (603 East Liberty, Ann Arbor) on Tuesday, November 24 at 7pm to discuss her new book, (co-written with Craig Crawford), 'Listen Up Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do,' her sharp humor and candid views about the White House will make for a memorable evening. This special event is cosponsored by Michigan Radio. There is no charge for this public event. Tickets are not required.

Happy Birthday Mr. President!


48 years ago today President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. (News outlets claim he is spending the day at the White House, lunching with the entire Senate Democratic Caucus.) On his birthday, August 4, 1961, John F. Kennedy held the office of the presidency in a very different United States of America. To explore the journey of Obama from Hawaii to Washington D.C., visit the AADL for a wealth of material, including books, dvds, books on CD and videos about this history-making man.

Predicting our economic recovery

Recently I heard Jeffrey Sachs on NPR, sounding very smart about what needs to be done to set the American economy right. So I put myself on the wait list and am eagerly looking forward to reading Sachs’ 2008 book Common wealth: economics for a crowded planet. Sachs, a highly influential economist, grew up in Oak Park, became one of the youngest economics professions in Harvard's history, and now directs the Earth Institute at Columbia University. His 2005 book The end of poverty: economic possibilities for our time sounds good, too.

Francis Lieber 1800 - 1872

Francis LieberFrancis Lieber

Francis (Franz) Lieber was a German-American political philosopher who worked in Abraham Lincoln's war department to establish union soldier rules of conduct. The Lieber Code was also known as the "Code for the Government of Armies in the Field (1863)" or "General Orders No. 100" and was a precedent to war time conventions addressing the ethical treatment of civilians and the relationship of troops to the population. Francis Lieber, among many other activities, translated the German encyclopedia into English, the Encyclopaedia Americana, and taught at the University of South Carolina and Columbia University.

Related books for adults
Tocqueville, Lieber, and Bagehot : liberalism confronts the world
Francis Lieber and the culture of the mind
American conservatives: the political thought of Francis Lieber and John W. Burgess
Tried by war : Abraham Lincoln as commander in chief
President Lincoln : the duty of a statesman
Civil War soldier books for youth
You wouldn't want to be a Civil War soldier!
The Confederate soldier

John Dingell Day in Michigan


It's official, John Dingell is now the longest-serving representative in Congress. And to make it really official, Governor Granholm has issued a proclamation declaring today, February 11, 2009, John Dingell Day. Mr. Dingell has served over 53 years (19,420 days and counting) in Congress. (Only Senator Robert Byrd has served longer.) Dingell will be a special guest on NPR's Political Junkie today. PJ is part of Talk of the Nation at 2 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

Inauguration Day - Past and Present


Since George Washington's inauguration in 1789, the transfer of presidential power has become an American tradition. If the upcoming festivities have you curious about this time-honored ceremony, check out Presidential inaugurations for a light, yet concise, history of each president and their beginnings. (This book is great for fans of presidential trivia) The upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama, the 44th president, will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln with the theme "A New Birth of Freedom". For related historical information check out Lincoln's greatest speech : the second inaugural from the AADL's collection. Visit Barack Obama's official inauguration website if you seek more information about Tuesday's upcoming events. If you find yourself wanting to relive history, Bartleby.com has the full text of ALL Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents of the United States from George Washington to George W. Bush. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."

Happy Birthday Hillary!

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton

With less than two weeks until Election Day, hopefully Hillary Clinton is taking some time out from supporting the Democrats to celebrate her birthday. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born in Chicago, October 26, 1947) is the junior United States Senator from New York, and was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in this 2008 presidential election. She is married to Bill Clinton—the 42nd President of the United States—and was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. If you seek more information beyond this common Hillary knowledge, check out her autobiography Living History. (Do I really need to warn you that Hillary fans will find this interesting and Hillary opponents will not find the revelations they seek?) Hillary is also the author of numerous other works including An invitation to the White House : at home with history and It takes a village : and other lessons children teach us.

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