An elementary school with a student-built courtroom. A middle school where all students debate real issues like immigration. And a high school where students tackle community issues like the California drought as part of the curriculum.

These are a few of the 74 schools recognized for this year’s Civic Learning Awards. The awards recognize public schools for their achievements in civic education.

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye visited the three California public schools recognized with the Civic Learning Award of Excellence: El Camino Creek Elementary School and Oak Grove Middle School, both in San Diego County, and John Marshall Fundamental Secondary School in Los Angeles County.

As part of the Chief Justice’s Civic Learning Initiative, the awards program is also supported by local judicial officers. Local Court of Appeal justices and superior court judges visit school campuses around the state to present awards and meet school officials, teachers, and students.

Now in its sixth year, the awards program has recognized more than 250 public schools from all grade levels. The awards are co-sponsored by Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.