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Hawkins Project Citizen students want to limit underage pot access

14 Mar 2017

Students at Hawkins Middle School are drafting a model bill to help prevent underage use of recreational marijuana. The students in Julie Lester's eighth-grade honors civics class are proposing to make lockable containers available to anyone who purchases marijuana in retail stores. The purpose is for parents to keep their stash out of the hands of minors in the household. The class will present their bill as part of Project Citizen, a state- and nationwide civics competition in which the class participates each year. State legislators are ahead of the students, but not by much. As the class was honing its prevention ideas, Reps. Dan Griffey    Read more >

Lesson in leadership: 8th graders learn democratic process

09 Mar 2017

Eagle River, AK They can't vote, and they're only in the 8th grade, but students at Gruening Middle School in Eagle River are getting some hands-on lessons in how democracy works. 11 social studies classes at the school are taking part in "Project Citizen", a national, non-partisan education program to teach young people how to participate in public policy decisions. Student Grace Karpicke said "it helps us know that even if we're young, we can change or create a public policy." Calvin Daugherty said "even though we're young, we're only like 14, it's like...it just seems so massive. There's this big country and we can actually affect what'    Read more >

Project Citizen prompts public testimony by Eagle River middle schoolers

07 Mar 2017

A trio of Gruening Middle School students took a stand before the Anchorage School Board Monday, urging board members to consider adding substance abuse counselors to local high schools. They were scared, they said, but they didn’t show it. Lauren Waite, Aubrey Roberts and Alyssa Adrian had spent weeks studying their topic, part of an annual eighth-grade assignment known as Project Citizen. The public testimony was one of the final steps. “My favorite part was getting to research it all; getting to find out how many teens use drugs and knowing we can maybe help prevent it,” said Roberts, 14. An initiative of the national Center for    Read more >

ACHS students share solutions for local and global problems

10 Feb 2017

ATLANTIC CITY — Priyanka Shah remembers playing on the Kingston Avenue playground as a young child. Today, at 15, she is concerned about the rundown condition of the park. So she and five classmates at Atlantic City High School decided to make “Problematic Playground” the theme of their Project Citizen proposal, suggesting community involvement to help fix them up. On Thursday, students at the high school displayed their projects in the gym for classmates, staff and a few invited guests, including Mayor Don Guardian. “People have to love their park to use it and take care of it,” the mayor said. He cited the park near the Texas    Read more >

'A great learning experience': YHS seniors learn civic engagement can create real change

25 Jan 2017

On Friday, a group of York High School seniors showed they were learning the tools of civic engagement, rolling up their sleeves and diving into projects that can make real changes in their community, addressing real issues and problems. Students in Advanced Political and Legal Studies presented the results of their semester of work on Project Citizen in a series of public hearing sessions. In the first morning session, three groups of students in Sarah Straz's room presented their research and recommendations for actions to address three issues: a proposed food truck ordinance, pollution from lawn chemicals and Styrofoam pollution. Other    Read more >

Students showcase ideas in Project Citizen

23 Jan 2017

ST. LUCIE COUNTY — We the People: Project Citizen is an annual academic event organized by Florida Law Related Education, Inc., which explains the project as “a curricular program for upper elementary and secondary students designed and published by the Center for Civic Education (CCE) that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy.” Seventh-graders from St. Lucie Public Schools convened at Indian    Read more >

Holbrook student club's bill for Peace Day becomes state law

12 Jan 2017

The Bay State will celebrate its first annual Peace Day this fall thanks to legislation promoted by the South School sixth grade Civics Club. Fifty-eight Civics Club members attended the signing of the proclamation Dec. 7 declaring their bill to designate Sept. 21 as Peace Day in Massachusetts as a state law in accordance with the International Day of Peace. Lt. Gov. Karin Polito presided over the ceremony, congratulating the students for their dedication over the past year. Sixth grade civics teacher and Civics Club founder Mary Clougher described the journey that began Jan. 27, 2016, when the club gave a presentation to selectmen. At    Read more >

Purdue event showcases high school solutions for community issues

04 Dec 2016

Students will tackle community problems Tuesday (Dec. 6) as part of a showcase for Project Citizen, a collaborative effort between Purdue University's College of Education and area high schools. Students from Oakland High School will present their solutions to community issues related to public policy from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Purdue University's Stewart Center, Room 218. The event is free and open to the public. The local Project Citizen is an effort by the College of Education's James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship and area high schools to promote participation in local and state government. As part of the program, groups of    Read more >

Riverview School students follow up with Sen. Wanggaard on Project Citizen initiative

19 Nov 2016

Seven Riverview School eighth grade students recently made a trip Madison to meet with state Sen. Van Wanggaard as a follow-up to their Project Citizen presentation last year. Their project was awarded first place in the state last year and Sen. Wanggaard told them to contact him if they would like to proceed with their action plan and actually create a new state policy or law. The students would like to have a policy or law requiring informational pamphlets be handed out to new parents informing them about the importance of having their infant’s eyes checked for various diseases before the age of one. After their recent presentation in    Read more >

Civic literacy vital to democracy

09 Nov 2016

If this year’s election taught us anything, it is the importance of educating our young people to become informed, engaged citizens who have the critical thinking skills to analyze and discuss issues and to disagree in a civil manner. That is what a civic education provides, and never has it been more important to the future of our country. Thomas Jefferson famously remarked: “… if we think them (the people) not enlightened enough, the remedy is ... to inform them by education.” Creating citizens with the knowledge, skills and desire to participate in our democratic society was, in fact, the reason public schools were established in    Read more >

Civic education is vital to a democracy

31 Oct 2016

Last week you heard about two Cascade School District teachers being named Civic Scholars by Representative Jodi Hack. That’s a big deal. Those teachers are Tammy Walling from Cloverdale Elementary and Matt McBeth from Cascade High School. They teach civics. Civics is not the snoozer class of yesteryear. Civics, in the Cascade School District like many others, is woven into U.S. Government, History, and other social studies classes. Unlike many other core subjects, social studies is constantly changing. This year’s election season provides a perfect example. The daily headlines keep many social studies teachers up at night. The    Read more >

STUDENTS NEED CIVICS MORE THAN EVER, EDUCATORS SAY: Campaign Provides Platform for Lessons in Civil Discourse

28 Oct 2016

Kentwood Public Schools, MI — Hillary Baker and Ellen Zwarensteyn have coached students in becoming so well-versed in government and civics that they take home national awards. Baker has led outstanding We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution teams, made up of high school students who rattle off informed opinions about different facets of the U.S. Constitution in front of lawyers, judges and professors. Zwarensteyn has coached award-winning high school debaters who argue different sides of complex policy. But despite their track records in engaging students in civics, politics and government, both educators say there is much work    Read more >

Effective civic education produces informed voters

19 Sep 2016

Civic education is the primary way our citizens acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for informed and engaged citizenship. While many institutions, such as the family, the church and social organizations, help forge a person’s civic character and propensity to participate, civic education in the schools is the one common experience American citizens share that helps them acquire and learn to use the skills, knowledge and attitudes that prepare them to be competent and responsible citizens throughout their lives. This is the historic civic mission of schools — a mission considered so important by those who established a free,    Read more >

Cranston Project Citizen students compete for national recognition

24 Jun 2016

As described in a video and print story, a Cranston school project that Eyewitness News profiled a few weeks ago on Street Stories has won the opportunity to compete for national recognition. Theresa Manera’s fifth grade class at Rhodes Elementary class took part in Project Citizen with an extensive proposal to ban plastic bags in all state recreational facilities. Project Citizen is aimed at teaching children to get involved with government to provoke change in important issues. “My kids were so excited to find out we will represent RI at the national project citizen showcase,” Manera said    Read more >

New Holstein Middle School takes part in Project Citizen

20 Jun 2016

Each year seventh grade students at New Holstein Middle School, under the direction of teacher Heather Tomchek, take part in Project Citizen. The competition has students coming up with issues of local, state, national, or world importance and then developing action plans to address those issues. This year one of the teams of students from the third hour social studies class came up with “Smoke Free to Save Me.” Their desire was to see smoke-free zones established at New Holstein parks. The students took their idea to the New Holstein Parks and Recreation Committee on May 4. They also arranged for the organization Community Action for    Read more >

Lakeland students present Project Citizen projects

12 Jun 2016

Four Lakeland High School students were an unusual addition to the agenda at a recent City Council meeting. Allison Boles, Koby Chavez, Adam-Mitchell Phillips and Asia Woodson each represented a section of social studies teacher Gail Barker’s government class. They presented their original research on city-related topics: light rail, mosquito control, recreational facilities and gang prevention. “Government is needed in schools,” Chavez said. “It teaches you you’re the only person that can make a difference for yourself.” Barker said the Project Citizen curriculum “helps students engage with government through a series of    Read more >

Project Citizen: Roosevelt Middle Schoolers discuss homelessness with city leaders

03 Jun 2016

hree public officials - two city councilors and two members of the Eugene School Board - took the stage in the Roosevelt Middle School theater Thursday. But they weren't giving a presentation; they were getting one. Roosevelt history teacher Jenoge Khatter says he wanted to include issues of citizenship in his class. So he had his students decide on a pressing local issue to study. They chose homelessness. For six weeks, the class has studied articles related to homelessness and gathered data by conducting interviews and polling students at North Eugene High School. Thursday they presented their research and recommendations to a panel of    Read more >

Middle Schoolers Tackle the Issue of Homelessness

03 Jun 2016

EUGENE, Ore. - Students in a middle school social studies class at Roosevelt Middle School have been studying the topic of homelessness. Over the past six weeks, they've collected data and formed analyses based on interviews of local elected leaders and homelessness experts and surveys of students and community members they have created and conducted. Their work was set to culminate with presentations to education and civic leaders in two community forums. Panelists included Eugene City Councilors Chris Pryor and Claire Syrett as well as Eugene School Board Members Anne Marie Levis, Beth Gerot, and Mary Walston. "The greatest payoff for a    Read more >

Letter: Real Sex Education Needed

30 May 2016

I am with a group of students from Glenwood Springs High School working on an assignment called Project Citizen. We designed Project Citizen to cause real change in American lives by implementing new policies on local and nationwide issues. My group’s goal is to raise awareness about the gaps present in statewide sexual education programs and to implement a policy reforming the current sexual education curriculum in the state of Colorado. Change begins at home, and we would like to inform our local community about our stance on the issue. In order for sexual education to be effective, the materials must be medically accurate and inclusive    Read more >

Letters from Glenwood High Project Citizen

30 May 2016

Editor’s note: These are among letters Glenwood Springs High School students have written for Project Citizen. SPORTS FIELDS NEEDED Glenwood Springs has a shortage of sports fields and we need a multisport turf field. Due to the shortage of places to play sports, there are constantly issues with scheduling, when and where to play. All outdoor sports teams in Glenwood have come into conflict with this issue before. Our policy BLAST — Build Leisure Athletic Sports Turf — is proposing a synthetic turf field of 57,600 square feet be installed in Glenwood Springs. It includes lights and portable bleachers. The benefits of installing a    Read more >