Caroline Hayes is committed to teaching her students the art of writing. Awarded a 2014 Robert H. Jackson Teacher Fellowship, Mrs. Hayes decided to commemorate the legacy of Robert H. Jackson through student speeches. Mrs. Hayes’ sixth grade class from Youngsville Middle School, Youngsville, PA embarked on this journey with their teacher by reflecting on the memory and lasting effects that Justice Jackson had on the American political system and international community. After learning about the life of Robert H. Jackson, her sixth graders created “Bob Talks,” affectionately named after Robert “Bob” Jackson. Their “Bob Talks” are reminiscent of TED talks which are viral sensations that focus on the expansion and circulation of new ideas relating to Technology, Entertainment, and Design. On Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015, several students from Mrs. Hayes’ sixth grade English Language Arts Class visited the Jackson Center as the culminating event of her 2014 Teacher Fellowship Project to learn more about Robert H. Jackson and to record their “Bob Talks.” When the students arrived at the Center, they received a tour and learned about the life of Robert H. Jackson starting from his childhood days in Springcreek, Pennsylvania to his quick ascension in the United States government.

Ryan Lehman, the class’ “history buff,” connected to Justice Jackson through his work at the Nuremberg Trial, and how that work contributes to International Humanitarian Law today. Ryan admired Robert H. Jackson for his role in the Nuremberg Trial, and learned how that trial laid the groundwork for current International Criminal Court.

"The various topics of the speeches are true to each student's individual passions and interests, while they also incorporate the impact Justice Jackson made and his legacy as it affects their generation." -Caroline Hayes (2014 Teacher Fellow)

Joseph Lindstrom’s “Bob Talk” was inspired by the common hometown ties that he and Robert H. Jackson share. “We have fished in the same creeks in Pennsylvania and Robert H. Jackson might have even caught bigger fish than I have which is fine. I am hooked on Robert H. Jackson,” Joseph enthusiastically said. The sixth grade class was most inspired by the fact that Justice Jackson came from the same area they grew up in, and with a lot of determination, he was able to become successful and influence many. People around the country and world remember Justice Jackson for his eloquent words while serving on the Supreme Court and his determination to set the framework for the first international criminal trial.

Although Justice Jackson did not graduate from law school, he passed the bar exam at age 21. Robert Jackson utilized his writing and literary skills that he learned from his high school English teacher, Mary R. Willard throughout his career. At a memorial for Ms. Willard given in 1931, Robert H. Jackson spoke of the effect that she had had on her students:

"The gratitude and affection of that long procession of students who filed through the classes of Mary Willard goes forth to her as a member of 'The choir invisible of those immortal dead who live again In minds made better by their presence.'" -Robert H. Jackson June 10, 1931
Mary Willard, Jackson's High School English Teacher

Robert H. Jackson’s reverence and respect for his teacher Mary Willard is an universal story. Mrs. Hayes connects with her students the same way Mary Willard connected with Robert Jackson. Anne Schwanke, passionate about writing, connected to Justice Jackson through his writings as a Supreme Court Justice. As Anne mentions in the video below, the ability to write eloquently gives you an undeniable power. Just like Mary Willard, Mrs. Hayes is inspiring her students to become better writers. Anne’s passion for writing is a testimony to Mrs. Hayes influence. 

The Jackson Center’s Youth Education Initiative seeks to expand the knowledge and legacy of Justice Robert H. Jackson into classrooms around the region, country, and world. The Youth Education Initiative provides outreach and programming throughout the year as well as educator development with semi-annual teacher workshops and an annual fellowship program. The 2015 Teacher Fellowship Application can be found below.

The Youngsville sixth graders enjoyed touring the Jackson Center

The 2015 Teacher Fellowship Application.