National Action Civics Collaborative Launches Campaign to Energize and Improve Youth Civic Engagement
Today, six organizations from around the country launched an effort to energize and improve youth civic engagement in America. Calling on Americans to reinvigorate civic education through “Action Civics,” they offered practical resources for educators interested in bringing action civics to their communities.
Check out the new site at ActionCivicsCollaborative.org for examples, principles, member organizations, and tools.
Action Civics is an approach to civic education in which students address problems that apply to their own lives through real-world experiences. It allows young people to act as powerful citizens and problem-solvers in their own communities. It is evidence-based and has been shown to reduce students’ cynicism about political participation and increase their civic knowledge and personal agency. When widely implemented, it will create an engaged citizenry capable of effective participation in the political process, in their communities, and in the larger society. Peter Levine, who directs CIRCLE (the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement) at Tufts University, said, “Good civic education has always been experiential and empowering, but today that is rare in American schools and especially in schools that serve disadvantaged youth. The National Action Civics Collaborative aims to change that.”
The National Action Civics Collaborative believes that through the sharing of practices and tools, research, dissemination and advocacy, and through professional development activities, we can re-define the way civics is understood and practiced both in schools and in out-of-school time activities. NACC is asking interested students, educators, and community organizations to join the Action Civics movement by signing up on the new website and exploring the educational resources offered on the website. Lisa Bardwell, the CEO of Earth Force, said, “the success of NACC relies on the engagement of all of us – to share best practices, to assess our real impact, and to push the systems that have traditionally denied young people the opportunity to be civic actors and leaders in their communities.”
The founding members of the National Action Civics Collaborative include: CIRCLE, Earth Force, Generation Citizen, Mikva Challenge, UCC (University Community Collaborative), and Youth on Board. Launched with the help of the McCormick Foundation in 2010, NACC members convene annually to share best practices and resources and advocate for action civics nationally.