Center Receives Two Major Grants from the U.S. Department of Education

Sep 24, 2019

The Center for Civic Education recently received funding from the U.S. Department of Education for two major civic education projects. The Project Citizen Research Program will provide professional development to teachers to engage thousands of students in proposing public policy solutions to community problems. The 2020 Presidential and Congressional Academies have been funded for their second year following the success of the 2019 Academies held at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.

Project Citizen Research Program

The three-year Project Citizen Research Program will measure the effects of professional development on teachers from throughout the country and on their students. Each year, the grant will provide for five regional Project Citizen professional development institutes. Each institute will deliver professional development to 20 teachers. A total of 300 teachers and their students will participate directly in the project over three years.

Teachers will implement Project Citizen in their classrooms. The Project Citizen curriculum asks students to identify a problem in their community and propose a public policy solution for addressing the issue. Students present their proposals to relevant government officials to convince them to adopt their proposed legislation or regulation.

This brief video shows how students in Missouri made a positive change in their community:

Presidential and Congressional Academies

The Center also received funding from the U.S. Department of Education to implement the second year of Presidential and Congressional Academies for American History and Civics for students and teachers in high-need schools. Both academies were launched in July 2019. Participants studied the principles and history of the Constitution with the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum, which was taught by scholars and mentor teachers.

Participants also enhanced their learning with field trips to historical sites, such as Gettysburg, Fort McHenry, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian museums, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the U.S. Capitol, where a number of students and teachers met with their members of Congress.

Student and teacher participants in the 2019 Academies describe their experiences in this video:

Teams of one teacher and two or more students from the same school or district are encouraged to apply for the 2020 Academies so that they can share their learning experiences during the summer and jointly conduct civic engagement activities during the academic year.


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