August 2022 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

Announcing a New Video Series from iCivics and the Center for Civic Education, Sharing the Results of the Project Citizen National Showcase, Welcoming a New Manager of National Programs, and More in This Month's Newsletter.

New Video Series From iCivics and the Center for Civic Education

New Video Series From iCivics and the Center for Civic Education

Two of the leading national civic education nonprofits, iCivics and the Center for Civic Education, have partnered to create a new series of videos explaining basic facts about the U.S. Constitution in everyday language. "The Constitution Explained" is a collection of brief, 2- to 3-minute videos that explore key concepts of the U.S. Constitution and explain how the American system of government has changed since the founding period. The series, which students of all ages can use, is particularly primed for use by teachers to engage their students in learning about the Constitution. The series is scheduled to launch on Friday, September 9, in time for Constitution Day and Citizenship Week, September 17-23.

"I'm incredibly excited to announce the launch of 'The Constitution Explained,'" said Christopher R. Riano, President of the Center for Civic Education. "This collaborative effort shows what is possible when sister organizations work together and has produced a rich collection of resources that can be used by students of all ages to make core constitutional concepts accessible to everyone. We've made a special effort to tell the story of American constitutional democracy in an intellectually and visually engaging way and are very proud of the result."

Julie Silverbrook, Senior Director of Partnerships and Constitutional Scholar in Residence at iCivics, said, "At the heart of our work at iCivics is the shared goal of making the foundational elements of our constitutional democracy understandable and relatable for every young person in the nation. We are thrilled to partner with our friends and colleagues at the Center for Civic Education to use compelling short-form videos to bring to life the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. We know this will not only be a valuable tool for educators across the country, but also for adults and families who are looking for a fun and engaging way to learn more about the text and history of these founding documents."

A virtual launch event for "The Constitution Explained" will be held on Monday, September 12, featuring constitutional scholar and author Linda R. Monk, as well as Julie Silverbrook, and Christopher R. Riano. Participants will learn how to implement the series in their upper elementary, middle, and high school classrooms during Constitution Day and Citizenship Week and throughout the year. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation of the videos. "The Constitution Explained" was made possible by the generous support of Kenneth C. Griffin.

Register Now

Project Citizen Summer Institutes

Project Citizen Summer Institutes a Success!

In July and August, the Center's partners held five Project Citizen Research Program institutes across the United States, from Honolulu to Boston. These institutes offered free professional development for over 100 teachers new to the Project Citizen curriculum. Participating middle and high school teachers connected with each other, fortified their teaching practice, and deepened their knowledge of how to teach public policy. Participants ranged from first-year educators to those with more than 30 years of teaching experience. All were immersed as learners in project-based practices, transforming how they engage students in course content. These teachers will implement Project Citizen in the new academic year with the support of their mentors, additional professional development, and online communities of practice. Thank you to everyone who made the Project Citizen Research Program institutes possible this summer!

Project Citizen National Showcase

Congratulations to our Project Citizen National Showcase Classes!

The Center congratulates all students and teachers across the country who participated in Project Citizen during the 2021-2022 school year. From among many important public policy projects, state Project Citizen coordinators submitted fourteen excellent class portfolios to the 2022 Project Citizen National Showcase in July. Students tackled issues ranging from school safety to shelter animals to safe roadways. Check out the National Showcase results here. Once again, Project Citizen students and teachers are making positive changes in their communities.

Also, in July, the Center hosted a showcase of student portfolios from the Project Citizen Research Program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant. Find the 2022 Project Citizen Research Program national showcase results here. These first-year Project Citizen teachers knocked it out of the park with their submissions. The Center looks forward to future projects from these teachers and schools.

Emily Voss

The Center Welcomes Emily Voss as the Manager of National Programs

We are excited to announce Emily Voss as the new Manager of National Programs for the Center for Civic Education! She joins the Center from the museum field, where she most recently served as the Education Director at the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier. There, she spent the past decade developing programs for adult professionals that invited engagement with America's founding documents. She also serves as Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics Education, Inc., through which she has coordinated the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program for students in Virginia. Voss holds a B.A. in History from Gettysburg College and an M.A. in Museum Education from the Cooperstown Graduate Program, SUNY. She and her family currently reside in central Virginia.

Welcome to the Center, Emily!

Back to School

A Message from Our Chief Program Officer

Are you ready to head back to school? As a teacher, I always had mixed feelings between wishing the summer would never end and anticipating what the school year could bring. I couldn't think of a more important or exciting place to be than my social studies classroom when armed with the new perspectives from the lessons learned over the last year, the latest resources from colleagues, organizations, and professional development, as well as constant thoughts of how to work with my students to make sense together of what was happening currently in our community, country, and world.

As a We the People and Project Citizen teacher, I also knew that everything we would learn together would prepare students for these exciting performances and projects and ultimately bring them more fully into their role as citizens in our school and larger democracy. As your school years begin, my hope for you and your students is that you find your way together to navigate what it means to be engaged in civic education. Along the way, know that we at the Center are here to cheer you on!

We can't wait to work with you through our mentorships, interact with you through our webinars and institutes, and witness your impact on your students through class visits, simulated hearings, and public policy portfolios. No school year is easy, and these past few years have been exceptionally challenging for so many reasons. But I am heartened that you are still here and are continuing to be called to this work. We are here with you, and you've got this!

Friends of Publius Release Resources

The Friends of Publius Release Resources for We the People Content

Last month, we shared that the Friends of Publius launched a new series of YouTube videos that give an overview of the major concepts in each unit of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 3 text. Now, they have released even more episodes to their "The Constitution in American Life" channel! These videos can be valuable for new We the People educators, seasoned teachers, and state coordinators.

Watch Videos

Carmen $char_special_Ramirez

The Center for Civic Education Mourns the Passing of Carmen Ramírez

The Center for Civic Education mourns the passing of Carmen Ramírez, a long-serving member of our Board of Directors, who passed away on August 12. "Our community is devastated today by this terrible news," said Center President Christopher R. Riano. "Carmen's legacy of selfless service to her community and to civic education is a model we can all look up to."

Read More

Chief Operating and Financial Officer

Join Our Talented Team as Chief Operating and Financial Officer!

The Center for Civic Education is a place where people can substantially impact the civic knowledge and dispositions of people worldwide. That's why we hire the best. We're looking for a Chief Operating and Financial Officer to lead the Center's operational, financial, and information technology divisions. This position is critical to implementing the Center's organization-wide strategic goals and objectives, playing a key leadership role in advancing the Center's priorities.

Do you qualify? If so, we want to hear from you!

Apply Here

Open Course on the U.S. Constitution

Introducing a Brand-New, No-Cost, and Self-Paced Open Course on the U.S. Constitution!

We've launched a new open course! The U.S. Constitution: Its Foundations, Transformation, and Challenges explores events that led to the transformation of the U.S. Constitution and our system of government from its foundation to what it is today. Available at no cost, this self-paced course is perfect for all learners who want a deeper understanding of American constitutional democracy. This open course is made possible by a U.S. Department of Education grant.

Learn More

Quick Quiz! The Framers gave which branch the primary responsibility and power to make laws?

A. Executive
B. Legislative
C. Judicial
D. Both A and B

Read on to learn the answer!

Share your story

Share Your Civic Education Story with the Center!

The Center's programs, including We the People and Project Citizen, are civic education at its best. We want to shout it from the rooftops!

As you start your school year, let us know how it is going. We want to share photos, stories, and quotations from you, your teachers, students, and others whose lives have been impacted by civic education and celebrate the work you all do! Please use this link to submit and share these stories, photos, and other examples. We will check in with you as we start to use them to shout out excellent civic education. Thanks for all you do!

Share Today

Back to School

Jumpstart Your School Year with Our 60-Second Civics Back-to-School Basics Series!

Jumpstart your school year with 60-Second Civics! Our Back-to-School Basics series explores the important philosophical ideas and historical events that influenced the writing of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights that are foundational to a strong civic education. Discover our series on our website for all the videos, quizzes, and scripts in one place.

Watch Here

Quiz Answer!

B. Legislative (see episode 4671)

For more quizzes and learning opportunities, check out the 60-Second Civics podcast and daily civics quiz!


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