June 2022 Newsletter

News from the Center for Civic Education

Read a New Report Showing Significant Academic Gains for Project Citizen Participants, Make a Difference in Renewing Democracy, Share Your Civic Education Story, and More in This Month's Newsletter.

New Research Shows Significant Academic Gains for Project Citizen Participants

Project Citizen Research

Exciting news! Georgetown University's Diana Owen and her team at the Civic Education Research Lab have released a new report about the efficacy of the Center for Civic Education's Project Citizen curricular program for middle and high school students. Findings show that middle and high school students from diverse backgrounds made significant gains in content knowledge, civic skills, and attention to public policy issues. Project Citizen students made connections with their math and science coursework and were more likely to report that they engaged in STEM activities in their civics classes in comparison to the control group. This research was conducted as part of the Project Citizen Research Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Learn More

Nova Doba

Civitas Ukraine and (Re)Building Democracy in the Country Moving Forward

For more than twenty years, Nova Doba, the All-Ukrainian Association of Teachers in History, Civic Education, and Social Studies, has been advancing civic education for active democratic participation. Its successes include developing the national tenth-grade civics curriculum, "We are Citizens of Ukraine"; training teachers across the country; and advancing new democratic school reforms. As a member of the Center's Civitas International Programs network, it has adapted the Project Citizen curriculum and participated in civic education leadership exchange with partners in Maryville University of St. Louis, Poland, South Africa, Morocco, and other nations. Today, Nova Doba—led by Civitas partner Polina Verbytska—continues to promote civic education, human dignity, and the strengthening of democracy in Ukraine. Despite the upheaval in the country, Nova Doba is reaching out to teachers, students, and displaced families to bolster their civic bonds and social integration. Their educational mission endures, and we celebrate their resilience and commitment to democracy.

Investment in Democracy

Making a Difference in Renewing Democracy

Thank you for supporting our spring fundraising campaign! With your gifts, and a generous matching gift from our Board of Directors, we raised over $21,000. Your support helps fill the gap in constitutional and civic education—for all ages—across the nation and beyond. It's never too late to invest in more opportunities for young people to learn crucial skills through fun, hands-on activities; for educators to receive much-needed training and resources; and for the public to receive informative podcasts, webinars, short courses, and other timely learning opportunities. Together, renewing democracy is possible.

Invest Today!

Event about Landmark LGBTQ Cases

How Do Networks Advance Civic Education?

A newly available journal article by Center for Civic Education President Christopher R. Riano and Alissa Irion-Groth, Director of National and International Programs, explores how the Center's networks of universities, nonprofits, schools, and policymakers advance civic education in the United States and internationally. The article features research from the Civic Education Research Lab of Georgetown University that demonstrates the effectiveness of the We the People and Project Citizen curricular programs, which are implemented by networks of education organizations worldwide.

Read Article

Simulated Congressional Hearings

We the People Simulated Congressional Hearings a Success with Elementary School Students

The month of May is "We the People Season" in Howard County, Maryland. All fifth graders in Howard County public schools prepare for and participate in simulated hearings as part of their elementary social studies experience. The hearing questions align with each unit they study, and students spend several weeks preparing speeches and practicing follow-ups in their teams. For over 20 years, board of education members, county council members, state legislators, and other community leaders have signed up to judge the hearings in over 40 elementary schools. This year, Dr. Donna Phillips, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, as well as Mara Tolas, Director of Development, were among the guest judges at the hybrid hearings. "This was the best part of my week," said Dr. Phillips. "I love that students get to experience this civic learning while in elementary school. It is never too early to start!" To learn more about how We the People can work in elementary schools, email Maryland State Coordinator This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit http://sch.hcpss.org/.

James Madison Legacy Project Expansion

Exciting New We the People Curriculum Development Starts with Workshop in June

The Center, expert teachers, and consultants are excited to begin working on the creation of new instructional and professional development resources for teachers of English learners, students with disabilities, and other high-need students! The first curriculum development gathering of experienced We the People teachers will take place on June 27–30 and kick off a summer of curriculum writing and the first phase of the James Madison Legacy Project Expansion (JMLPE) Program. Expert teachers will then pilot new lesson plans in the fall semester. The new resources will bolster professional development and instruction in the We the People curricular program, including simulated hearing preparation in coming years. Look out for new free lesson plans and professional development opportunities to come! The JMLPE Program is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Civitas World Summit

World Summit on Civic Education Held May 18–21

Civitas Bosnia and Herzegovina's (BiH) online World Summit on Civic Education took place on May 18-21. Mia Nagawiecki, the Center's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, delivered opening remarks alongside U.S. Embassy officials instrumental in supporting the BiH Civitas program for its 25-year history. The summit featured panels of expert researchers and practitioners, including Center Board member and Democracy International Vice President Liza Prendergast, Center Director of Publishing and Communications Mark Gage, Social Science Education Consortium Executive Director Dr. Charles White, Civic Education Research Lab Director Dr. Diana Owen of Georgetown University, Polina Verbytska of Civitas Ukraine, Refaat Sabbah of the Teacher Creativity Center in the West Bank, Calin Rus of the Intercultural Institute of Timisoara in Romania, and other highly experienced civic educators. Participants enjoyed the exchange of best practices and the latest strategies and research in civic education. The summit integrated students and teachers from BiH and culminated with the annual BiH Project Citizen national student showcase.

Watch Now

All-America City (AAC) Award Jury

Christopher Riano to Serve on the All America City Awards Jury

From July 19 to 21, Center President Christopher R. Riano will serve as a member of the 2022 All-America City (AAC) Award Jury, which judges the 73rd annual AAC Award. The AAC Award recognizes communities leveraging civic engagement, collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation to address local issues successfully. The 11-member jury is composed of nationally recognized civic leaders and experts in affordable housing, community development, and early school success. This year's theme is "Housing As a Platform to Promote Early School Success and Equitable Learning Recovery." The AAC Awards are co-hosted by the National Civic League and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.

Learn More

Share Your Civic Education Story

Nominations Open for Mount Vernon Student of the Year Award

Dr. Donna Phillips, the Center's Vice President and Chief Program Officer, has always said that the Center's programs, including We the People and Project Citizen, are civic education at its best. She wants to shout it from the rooftops!

To that end, the Center is starting a new feature in this and other Center media outlets to focus on the great work you do in your schools and classrooms. 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!

Quick Quiz! The Fair Credit Billing Act provides some protection against what?

A. Unauthorized charges on a debit card
B. Unauthorized charges on a credit card.
C. Unintended charges on a debit card.
D. Excessive spending on a credit card.

Read on to learn the answer!

Civic Spirit Educators

Apply to the Civic Spirit Fellowship!

The Civic Spirit network is now accepting applications to their Educators Cohort program for faith-based educators. This year-long fellowship will begin in August. The Educators Cohort brings together educators from schools and organizations rooted in a faith tradition who are committed to exploring the unique possibilities of civic learning in the context of communities of faith. Over the year-long program, participants will develop their knowledge and skills as civic educators and introduce new approaches in their educational setting.

Educators from schools and organizations rooted in a faith tradition who are interested in advancing civic learning in their schools and communities should apply here.


Quiz Answer!

B. Unauthorized charges on a credit card (see episode 4635)

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


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