BALTIMORE - For the first time, wearing their robes, Maryland judges stepped out of their courtrooms and into classrooms full of curious third graders Wednesday morning.
Judges from the Supreme Court of Maryland, the Appellate Court of Maryland, local circuit courts and the district court of Maryland visited Cherry Hill Elementary and Middle School for the Reading and Robes program, an initiative of the National Judicial College.
"They have an opportunity to see that there are different career paths that they probably had not thought of," CHEMS assistant principal Tary Scroggins said,
Judges read aloud Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's children's book, 'Turning Pages: My Life Story'. They also talked to students about their role as a judge and how they became one.
"They soak up everything so now is the time that we can encourage them to live their own dreams and if they want to be judges this is the perfect time to instill the fact that they can do whatever it is they want to do," Baltimore City Circuit court associate judge Dana Middleton said,
Middleton helped coordinate the program.
She said her own interest in the justice system started at a young age when her father – a lawyer – would bring her to work with him
"It is always good for a child to see the thing that they want to become because then it's real for them," said Middleton. "So I just encourage – as soon as I hear a child say they want to be a judge I always say come on up and visit."
Judges also visited six other elementary schools throughout the area.
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