Deliberating in a Democracy
Estonian DID Partner Teachers Visit Colorado
February 11-17, 2006

CELD is pleased to collaborate with the Constitutional Rights Foundation and Street Law in a new international civic education exchange program with teachers and students in Estonia – Deliberating in a Democracy (DID).

DID focuses on the importance of deliberation for young people and will provide students and teachers with opportunities to practice discussing contorversial issues – not just in classsrooms at home, but also with their counterparts in Estonia.

CELD and DID Denver area project teachers recently hosted a delegation of our counterpart DID teachers from Estonia.

Estonia/Denver Partner Schools and Teachers
Denver Area

Parnu Raekula
Bibi Raid
Viive Tuur
West High School
Center for Internat'l Studies
Jennifer Portillo
Heidi Hursh
Kolgo Gymnasium
Sulev Valdmaa
Heiki Varend
Northglenn High School
Suzanne deLemos
Victoria Bull
Saku Gymnasium
Maris Rhot
Mai Kahru
Horizon High School
Ryan Hargraves
Lance Boyd
Tallinn Pelgulinna
Kulno Kala
Anne-Ly Ounapuu

Cherokee Trails High School

Suzette Phillips
Cari Erickson

Horizon High School and Northglenn High School

Horizon students participate in a special geography lesson from Sulov Valdmaa. Students at both schools had many questions about Estonia, including Estonian currency. Northglenn students presented Valentine cards to their guests from Estonia.


Denver DID Students

Denver West High School Center for Internat'l Studies students deliberate on the question: "Should the Bush Docrtine Be Part of U.S. Foreign Policy?"

Exchanging gifts, CIS students were given special scrapbooks from Estonian students. CIS students presented school t-shirts to their Estonian guests.


Observing Democracy

On February 15, our Estonian guests visited the Colorado State Capitol and were introduced on the House Floor by Representative Wes McKinley, "Cowboy" legislator from District 64 (southeastern Colorado). House business included final reading of a bill to require all Colorado citizens to wear seat belts. The measure passed by one vote and now moves on to the Senate.

Estonians also learned about the method by which Colorado citizens bypass their legislators to participate in direct democracy through the initiative process. They were provided a preview of 2006 Colorado ballot initiatives from the Secretary of State's Office.

To close their day at the State Capitol, our Estonian delegation observed a Senate Committee hearing on arguments for and against a Senate bill to require employers to provide breaks for breast-feeding mothers.


Colorado teachers enjoyed showing our Estonian guests the Museo de las Americas in the Sante Fe Art District, a walking tour of West Denver, as well as the Flat Irons near Boulder.