The Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (“CFOG”) is a nonprofit organization committed to promoting people’s understanding of what their government is doing, a concept that is at the heart of our democratic society.  One of CFOG’s goals is to increase awareness among younger citizens about the importance of the state Freedom of Information Act, which ensures citizen access to government records and meetings, and the impact the act has on their daily lives.  

CFOG sponsors:

  • a new initiative focused on the First Amendment that brings a journalist and an attorney with expertise on First Amendment issues into the classroom to share their expertise and experiences, and
  • an annual Essay Contest for high school students on Right to Know and First Amendment Issues.

First Amendment Project

Educators looking for imaginative approaches to enhance their mandated civics requirements might consider a program launched last year by the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG).

Under the free CFOG First Amendment Project, teams of lawyers and journalists visit participating high school classes to discuss the history and practical applications of First Amendment, Freedom of Information and Open Government policies.

These lively, knowledgeable and interactive sessions drew very positive results and CFOG plans to expand the program to even more high schools during the current academic year. Among the high schools participating in the inaugural year of the program were East Lyme High School and Lyman Hall in Wallingford. To increase awareness of the long-hallowed rights, presenters will not only examine the history of Free Speech in America but examine ways that citizens – including students – can utilize laws and regulations to protect their speech and get access to information being closely held by the government.
Since participation will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, contact Mitchell Pearlman at info@ctfog.org

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Annual Essay Contest for High School Students

Learn more about the essay contest on right to know and open government issues, and read contest winning essays from recent years.

First Prize: $1,000     Second Prize: $500     Third Prize: $300     Honorable Mentions: $50