The 3Rs: Rights ● Responsibilities ● Realities

Thirteen years. More than 35,700 students. Over 2,300 volunteers. 119,000 volunteer hours totaling $12 million in donated time. This fall The 3Rs kicks off its 14th year in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools, and we have the entire legal community to thank for this monumental achievement, helping thousands of students learn about the law and plan for their future.

In 2018-19 we placed volunteers in 72 classrooms across 21 high schools, but we're not ready to rest until we can match teams to every 11th grade U.S. Government classroom in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools. Our goal in 2019-20 is ensure that we continue to meet and exceed the call for volunteers for all classes, from students in new tech, to those in early college prep, to those who are just now learning English as new arrivals to our country. With your help, we can make sure all students in our local, urban public schools enjoy the benefits of legal leaders making a connection with them, teaching them about the law, and championing them as they prepare for life after high school. In as little as one hour a month for six lessons total, you can make a difference in the lives of young people in our community.

Together, we can make a major, positive change through the award-winning 3Rs program of the CMBA.  

But how does The 3Rs work?

The 3Rs is a landmark program connecting lawyers, judges, law students, and paralegals with high school students in Cleveland and East Cleveland schools. Through a series of six in-person lessons during the regular school day, 3Rs volunteers help foster an understanding and appreciation of the U.S. Constitution, as well as share important information about how students can achieve their goals beyond high school. Volunteers are provided training and all lesson materials, plus support throughout the school year. In The 3Rs+ program, volunteers have further opportunities to connect with students beyond The 3Rs through field trips, mentoring, career shadowing, and other exciting community activities.

Using a unique, real-world curriculum provided by the CMBA, teams of volunteers from all areas of the legal community meet with students in the classroom to accomplish the following goals:

  • Improve understanding of and respect for the rule of law and our Constitution;
  • Improve passage of civics content testing required for graduation;
  • Provide practical career counseling to focus students on their potential beyond high school; and
  • Improve the “pipeline” of minorities flowing into legal careers in the region.

To volunteer or for more information, contact Jessica Paine or call (216) 539-5982.

More than ever, Cleveland and East Cleveland public school students need the personal involvement of the community to help the students maximize their potential both now and post-high school. The success of these students and the success of our region are mutually dependent. The Cleveland legal community is well-positioned to make a profound impact by volunteering to serve in the schools.

The impact of 3Rs mentoring

Learn more about how The 3Rs has impacted the lives of countless students by watching video testimonials online here, or read more real-life stories below.

Celebrating The 3Rs!

In 2016, The 3Rs celebrated its 10-year anniversary. We look forward to another 10 years to come!

The 3Rs and 3Rs+ are programs of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, with funding support provided by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation. The Foundation offers a giving program for CMBA members, volunteers, and friends of the program to help us sustain The 3Rs through annual charitable gifts – Friends of The 3Rs. There are a variety of giving levels and all support is very much appreciated. The CMBF is a 501(c)(3) organization; gifts to it are tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.

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Where Are We This Year? 

In the 2019-20 school year, The 3Rs will continue to match volunteers with 11th-grade U.S. Government classes for 11th graders. Working closely with educators in the Cleveland and East Cleveland schools and with YOU, our volunteers, the 3Rs Oversight Committee continues to refine and develop the 3Rs curriculum to best reflect the students' needs. This year's curriculum will remain substantially similar to last year's (including lessons on career counseling, freedom of speech, checks and balances, how laws are interpreted, and a special lesson on police encounters, with plenty of current, interesting case examples), but with updates to keep the lessons current and even more group activities to engage the students' interest. Lessons are still taught in the small group format to maximize personal connection and student engagement.

We are also still dedicated to maintaining flexibility in how and when lessons are taught by allowing volunteers to visit their classes on their schedules. We are also providing more teaching options within each lesson, so that you as volunteers are empowered to teach in the way that best fits the needs of your students.

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