Kids helping kids understand the Marin Superior Court


Court is a place where people go to solve problems. Sometimes children don't understand court and what happens there. Kids might think that court is a bad place because of what they hear from family, friends, or on TV. That is not true at all. There are many great things that go on in court, and you can learn more about them, here.

Getting to Know the Court

Do you know what the State Seal is, or who makes the laws? Have you ever wondered about the history of the Marin County Civic Center? Without Frank Lloyd Wright, we wouldn't have the Civic Center. Without the Civic Center, we wouldn't be able to solve problems. Who wants that? Not me!

Under the Blue Roof

Have you ever gone past a big building with a blue roof, in San Rafael? If you have, that's the Marin County Civic Center. There are a lot of things that go on in there, but one of the really important things is court. But did you know that there are different kinds of court? If you want to learn more, watch our movie "Under the Blue Roof."

Who's Who in the Courtroom

A courtroom doesn't function all on its own. It takes a lot of important people to make sure our courts are a place where people are treated fairly. Take a look at this video to learn more about who's who in the court.

How Court Affects You and Me

Court is not only about helping adults. It's there to help you, too! Court always makes sure to put kids first, so remember, court is not as bad of a place as you might think it is. Kids can have a voice, too!

The Truth About Court

Do you like to watch TV? Have you ever seen a show about court? If you have, don't believe what you saw or heard. Many things on these shows are not what would really happen in court. They make court seem much worse than it really is. This video gives you the truth about court.

Behind the Scenes

Ever wonder about who created this website? There are writers, researchers, and overall hard workers who made this happen, and we'll tell you how and why they completed this project.

  1. About Us
    Who are the creators of this website?
    Twenty-two fifth graders at Bel Aire School in Tiburon, California, made this website and the movies. They thought differently, and took risks -- some of the most important things you have to do if you want to create something new. A special thanks go to our teacher and our principal for leading the way to success!
  2. The Reason
    What is the reason for this web page?
    We wanted to really show kids the true meaning of court. Also, we wanted to help children, who might have to go to court for any reason, feel more comfortable. We hope kids learn that court is a fair place, and that every decision that is made is for the good of each child.
  3. The Right Approach
    How did we approach this project?
    We worked in teams, with adults, and real court professionals to help get this project done. Not only did we study hard and stay focused, but we put our hearts into completing our goal to help kids like you. 
  4. Everybody Learns
    What did we learn?
    We learned a lot about the court, designing movies, using correct grammar, editing, making web pages, writing reports, revising, working in teams, doing interviews, partnering with teachers and adults, working with community members, and much, much more. We hope that kids who see this website learn that court can be a friendly and safe place for them. Don't forget, there's even a dog!
  5. Something to Remember
    Have you ever challenged yourself?
    We have! In fact, this project was about Challenged Based Learning, a style of learning designed to challenge students to produce something that's real and meaningful. We worked on this project for six months. Some teams had to do over 90 edits. We had a job to do, and we did it right. We learned more than we would have learned by just studying the court in a book. Without challenging yourself, you will never know what you can do. Go for it!

Contact Us @ Bel Aire School, 277 Karen Way Tiburon, CA 94920, Phone 415-388-7100, fax 415-388-7176
Email, Web Address


New Words

Every day, you learn something new. Today, you are going to learn some useful words that you might hear in the court. This is the glossary, where you will find out the definitions of these words.

accomplish: to achieve
approach: to get closer
architecture: the style of a building
attorney: a person who helps to prove a point
bailiff: a police officer that works only at the court
bar: a line, between the public and the working area, in a courtroom
challenge: to test someone's ability
civil: the concerns of citizens
clerk: someone who takes care of court paper work
convict: a person who is said to be guilty, or the act of proving someone guilty
court: a place where judges or juries decide if someone has broken a law
court reporter: a person who writes down everything that happens in a trial
crime: breaking the law
criminal: a person who has broken, or continues to break, the law
custody: the guardianship of a person (child or adult), object, or property
guardianship: a defender or protector
guilty: someone who was proven to have broken the law
innocent: someone who did nothing wrong
judge: a person who makes decisions in a trial or hearing
juror: a person who serves a jury
jury: people who decide whether or not a person is guilty or not guilty
justice: being fair and reasonable
law: rules people follow in your country and state
lawyer: an attorney
testify: to tell the truth about what you saw or heard to a judge or jury
verdict: the judge or jury's decision
witness: a person who sees a crime and then tells the court what they saw or heard

Learn More

This doesn't have to be the end. You can learn more about court. We have some great websites, listed below, to help you find out more. Hope you enjoy!

Civics -
California Courts -
Brain Pop video -
Kids in the House -
United States District Court -
The Constitution For Kids -

Contact Us
If you have any questions, comments, or just want to contact us, click on the email address below: