Feature Stories

Teaching Elementary Children through Legal CARES

Jan 19, 2018

The Legal and Intellectual Property departments participated in several events as part of the Legal CARES (Community, Advocacy, Representation and Service) community service and pro bono legal services program. The Astellas Legal Department in the Americas Region created Legal CARES in early 2017, offering Astellas Legal employees the opportunity to provide charitable support and pro bono legal services to those in need.

Astellas employees from the Americas Legal department partnered with the Cove School, an Astellas USA Foundation partner, in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cove School serves children with complex learning disabilities from kindergarten through 12th grade. Cove enrolls approximately 150 students from over 50 different districts throughout the Chicagoland area. 

The employees visited the Cove elementary school classes and led a variety of reading and art projects for its annual Career Day. The projects were designed to teach the students about influential women in honor of Women’s History Month. 

“Each volunteer was assigned to assist a presenter as they walked the students through their everyday roles and responsibilities,” said Annie Morrison, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Regulatory. “The students learned about a day in the life of a pastry chef, a floral designer, a police officer, a firefighter/paramedic, a hair stylist and an actress. The kids had a blast, and so did we!”

Other employees from Astellas Americas Legal department volunteered with the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society.

The team visited a fifth-grade classroom at Brentano School in Logan Square and led six teams of students through a video of opening and closing statements and witness testimony in the matter of State v. Bean, the State’s prosecution of Jack and the Beanstalk for criminal trespass and theft of a goose that lays golden eggs. 

The employees also visited Chase Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois, where they led second graders through the trial of State v. Wolf, in which the State pursued property destruction charges against the allegedly both “Big” and “Bad” Wolf. 

“Our fifth graders were excellent jurors, weighing the evidence, thinking through the persuasive arguments, and ultimately deliberating with their peers,” said Lisa Kistler, Assistant General Counsel, Legal Litigation. “The children had a lot of fun learning about the legal process and shared insights about individuals’ rights and obligations.”

Living SMART™ is the Astellas approach to preparing communities today for what can happen tomorrow. The Living SMART framework brings together the strength of the charitable Astellas USA Foundation and our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work to find the areas where we can make the most impact to improve lives. Astellas USA Foundation and Astellas CSR collaborate to create a positive impact on society through three overarching focus areas: health and well-being; Science WoRx (STEM education); and disaster response. To read more about Living SMART, see the Astellas Americas Corporate Social Responsibility Report Card