3rs programProgram Summary
The 3Rs: Rights, Responsibilities, Realities
The 3Rs Program is a partnership between the Grand Rapids Bar Association and the Grand Rapids Public Schools. It calls upon a team of volunteers to go to social studies classrooms for eight separate sessions, between October and May, of each school year to work with small groups of students to accomplish the following goals:
- Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law and our Constitution
- Increase interest in civic and governmental issues
- Provide practical career counseling to focus students on their potential beyond high school
- Improve the "pipeline" of minorities flowing into the legal profession
3Rs program volunteers, from the Grand Rapids legal community, visit 9th grade social studies classes throughout the school year. The program, funded by the Grand Rapids Managing Partners’ Diversity Collaborative, is based upon the award-winning model put forward by the Cleveland Bar Association.
What We Do
The 2019-2020 academic year will be the seventh year for the 3Rs Program in Grand Rapids, and will focus on University Preparatory Academy. Roughly once a month, from October to May, in coordination with school programming, a team of five lawyers will enter each 9th Grade social studies class for one 55-minute class period. Each class will be divided into subgroups of 4-5 students, led by a lawyer/law student team member who will apply a curriculum based upon the one developed by the Cleveland Bar Association. Students’ work in the 3Rs Program will count towards their final grade, and the participating attorneys/law students will have a voice in that grade. Our goal is to expand the program into every 9th Grade Social Studies class in the Grand Rapids Public Schools system, in the future.
We estimate that the commitment of an average team member would be approximately two to three hours per month for a period of nine months. That commitment will begin at the September orientation. In October, you will enter the school for a 55-minute class roughly once a month and your commitment will consist of preparation, travel to University Preparatory Academy and attending your assigned class period. Also, you will shoulder an ongoing commitment to mentor any students with whom you form a connection, which will continue through their high school education and beyond.
We are still looking for area legal professionals and students, attending law school, who are interested in making a difference. If you are interested in volunteering in, please contact
Attend an Orientation and Cultural Competency Training
Each respective orientation and cultural competency training session contains identical content. In order to accommodate the busy schedules of our volunteers, we have elected to conduct multiple training at varying times.
Orientation - Session I: September 25, 2019 | 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Orientation - Session II: September 26, 2019 | 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Cultural Competency Training - Session I: October 2, 2019 | 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Cultural Competency Training - Session II: October 3, 2019 | 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
"Students are Watching Ferguson" From Teaching Tolerance
From Facing History and Ourselves
"How to Teach Kids about What’s Happening in Ferguson"
From The Atlantic
"Teaching About Ferguson"
From Teaching for a Change