PEP Students Learning About Law from CMBA Volunteers

PEP Students Learning about Law from CMBA Volunteers

Students from PEP Greenview and PEP Eastwood are learning about law from Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (CMBA) volunteers through a program known as The 3Rs,* which stands for rights, responsibilities and realities. Since it began in 2006, The 3Rs has connected lawyers, judges, law students and paralegals with high school students in Cleveland and East Cleveland schools.

Participating for the first time this year, PEP started receiving visits from its CMBA volunteers this past December. Visits will continue about once a month for the rest of the school year.

According to The 3Rs website, the program aims to:

  • Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law, our Constitution and our community;
  • Promote passage of civics content testing required for graduation;
  • Provide career counseling to focus on their futures beyond high school; and
  • Increase minority diversity in legal careers in the region.

“It’s a great program for PEP,” explained Christine Zanoni, director of curriculum. “Not only is its curriculum aligned with Ohio’s Learning Standards, it also focuses on reality. The volunteers teach the students how the system should work, but then talk about modern-day realities.”

In the Classroom

William Brown whose high school classes at PEP Eastwood are taking the course said his students have enjoyed the change of pace and the format of the class, which feels more like a college symposium. He noted that one female student gained a lot of self-confidence from staying engaged in the content and contributing to class discussion.

One of the principles of Re-ED, PEP’s foundational philosophy, is “competence makes a difference.” We see this principle in action regularly when a student who has faced a lot of failure finds something that inspires them, and they begin to become familiar with success. That type of experience can be transformational for a student. It was for the student in Mr. Brown’s class who found herself enthralled by a meaningful civics discussion.

Mr. Brown explained that there are additional benefits to examining the law and its realities with the students in his class. “Our high school is mostly 17- to 18-year-old Black males. It’s important for them to be a part of this program so they know their rights, especially if they have already had issues with the law in the past. They are so close to graduation.”

To find out more about this initiative and how PEP students learn about law at PEP Eastwood and PEP Greenview or to learn more about PEP’s other Day Treatment Centers visit our website. Contact Nicole Molnar, clinical coordinator, at 216-361-7760 ext. 110 or via email to see if a student in your district may be a good fit. 

Please note, referrals are made through school districts. Interested parents or caregivers should contact their school administrator.

*(PEP’s newsletter by the same name stands for Regulate, Relate and Reason.)