sunshine week logo You cannot legislate the weather. So what is a Sunshine Law?

League of Women Voters Sunshine pamphlet | Sunshine in Government Initiative

question mark Conduct a survey of your class. Do you think the sunshine laws in your state are adequate to assure good government?

What are the sunshine laws in your state?


Choose a level of government in your state.

How does your government provide information to citizens?

Is this method timely?

Is it widely available?

Does it allow for public oversight?


What consequence does the current status of this issue, in your state, have for the common citizen?


How does your School Board measure up against the issue of sunshine in government?


Food for thought - How does your student council measure up regarding the issues of sunshine in government?


quill an dink potAction: Your America: Take action resources

Write a letter regarding this issue to an individual that represents you in state government.

Tell them how you feel about sunshine laws and what you believe should be done about it. Endeavor to cite specific examples. Alternatively, you can write to someone who represents you at the local level urging them to be more open.

Your challenges include: finding their office address, using the correct salutation including title, as well as, following appropriate business letter writing format.

*Many elected officials have an email form/link in their web site. It is reasonable to use this, in lieu of paper and postage, but format and style expectations remain the same. Write the letter in word processing. Edit it as needed. Then copy .. paste it into the email form. Some have a maximum character limit to emails. If that is the case, write the formal letter. Then drop the address heading and date from the email.


Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper advocating your point of view.


Take steps to advocate for Sunshine principles to be implemented in your Student Council.


"At a time when citizens are feeling increasingly unhappy and alienated from their government,
it's especially important to remind them about the open records laws
that enable them to find out what their government is doing," Cindy Stiff, professor Florida A&M University

Resources: Sunshine Week at NOW
Citizen Journalists Find Majority of Congressional Web Sites are not Tools for Transparency is the official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.
What's your government up to? Only action produces change
Freedom of Information Act Project on Government Oversight

Freedom of Information training

Open Government Guide

Brighter Pennsylvania - PNA site Tech Tip: Working in a group or in two different places like the library & home? You do not have to be physically together to work together. gold starWatch Google Docs video TAI - How could you use free, Google Docs to do a project? How would this facilitate group projects?
Limiting Legal liability for Citizen Journalists
THOMAS - legislative information from the Library of Congress Writing to persuade
How to track Federal Legislation using THOMAS Privacy and student rights
Proposed Open Records and Right to Know law PA. Datamining and your privacy
PA Open Records Law 2008

Could a letter really make a difference?

Look into the story of Sarah Josepha Hale. Her letter writing campaign is important to us every November.
Or consider the advocacies of Anna Jarvis and Rachel Carson.
Picking Letters, 10 a Day, That Reach Obama


"Behold the turtle for he does not move forward without sticking out his neck." PBL site / Rubric template - teacher resource

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developed by Cynthia J. O'Hora Released to public domain and Posted 1/2007

tree icon How to use a Digital Answer Format : Highlight the text of the questions on this web page, copy them - Edit .. Copy. Open a text document or word processing document. Paste the questions into the blank document. Answer the questions in the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid fancy fonts like: black, Symbol, dearform fomnt or broad. Save frequently as you work. I do not like losing my work. You will not like it either. Put your name and the date in a header. Submit your work via an electronic class dropbox or email attachment. Bad things happen. Retain a copy of your work on your computer.

Proof your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon Make Your Own Printed answer sheet.