Celebrating RI Spring 2014 Civics Day

May 14, 2014

Dear Friends,

On May 12th, Generation Citizen celebrated our Tenth Rhode Island Civics Day at the Rhode Island State House. I wanted to send along some of the highlights from our event, hopefully I can connect with you individually soon. We will be working hard this summer to meet with more of the Rhode Island community to get your thoughts, feedback and ideas on ways Generation Citizen can continue to be an impactful organization. In order to succeed in Rhode Island, creating a strong network to support action civics education is so crucial.

See below or go to our Facebook page for some highlights from Rhode Island Civics Day, Spring 2014! Please consider helping us reach our goal of raising $2,500 by Friday, enabling another classroom to participate in the Generation Citizen program next semester, by going to dev-generation-citizen.pantheon.io//donate.

All photographs by Peter Goldberg Photography at www.petergoldbergphoto.com

Over 130 students from nine schools came to the Rhode Island State House to represent their larger Generation Citizen classes and present their amazing projects to our 35 judges. Community leaders, elected officials, candidates and educators came from across Rhode Island to serve as judges at Civics Day, with administrators, teachers, parents and our college volunteers attending as guests.

Our day kicked off with Governor Chafee welcoming the students to the State House and speaking to the importance of civics early on in his life, and the path it set him on. He hoped it would do the same for the students there, and even took the time to field questions from students in the audience. We then presented our Community Change Maker Award to Providence City Councilman Sam Zurier, who spoke on the great student-led work he’s seen in Providence over the last year.

After our kickoff, students presented projects spanning a wide range of issues, including creating recycling programs, preventing school-based gang creation, funding for drug rehabilitation centers and youth homelessness in Providence. Students spoke on why they chose the topics, the research they put into understanding that issue, and how they learned by taking action by lobbying elected officials, assisting nonprofit coordinators, and demanding enforcement or implementation of existing rules and regulations.

Our day closed with an amazing speech about leadership from Generation Citizen’s Executive Director, Scott Warren, in tribute to our departing Managing Director Molly Isenbarger. We also heard from Rhode Island Department of Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who told our students, “When you speak people listen. Your voice matters.” Finally we presented our awards for individual and class projects, with classes from Roger Williams Middle School, Nathan Bishop Middle School, Del Sesto Middle School, E Cubed Academy, and Paul Cuffee School winning project awards. Our top Student Change Maker, Samir Murillo from Del Sesto Middle School helped us conclude the event with this statement.

“Now I know that even as a 7th grader I can use my voice to change things. Working on this project, I used my voice and after this year, I will continue to represent my school, my fellow students and myself.“

Even if you could not attend, you can still be a part of our mission and our movement! Please consider making a gift to support our workby visiting dev-generation-citizen.pantheon.io//donate/. Every $2,500 raised enables another classroom to participate in this program, attend Civics Day, and come to recognize the power of their voice to create change.

Thank you for all you do to support Generation Citizen, our young people, and our mission.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Tom

 

All pictures credited to Peter Goldberg at www.petergoldbergphoto.com

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