For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
New York City Council Allocates Half a Million for Generation Citizen to Expand Civic Education Across the City
Council Funding allows Generation Citizen to Double Program Service
to Reach 4,000 Students Annually
(New York, NY) The recently Adopted New York City Fiscal Year 2017 Budget dedicates $500,000 to Generation Citizen (GC) to expand civic education in New York City schools. GC is thrilled to be given the privileged undertaking of expanding civics education across the city and applauds the City Council, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and Finance Committee Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland for their exemplary prioritization of students’ civic education and ultimately, investing in the long-term health of our city’s democracy. This is the first time in GC’s organizational history that it has been awarded public funding of this size.
The funds allocated to Generation Citizen will double the New York City program size, allowing the local effort to grow from being able to reach 2,000 students to 4,000 students annually in middle and high schools throughout the city. In addition, the funding will help expand programming by supporting recruitment efforts of approximately 120 college students (Democracy Coaches) from CUNY schools; Democracy Coaches play a critical role in GC classrooms as they function as peer-to-peer facilitators of the curriculum.
“The Council is proud to support Generation Citizen’s efforts to expand civic education in New York City,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The future of our city depends on an engaged and knowledgeable population who understand their civic duty, and civic education is essential to maintaining such a population. I thank my Council colleagues for their partnership in this important initiative.”
“GC is grateful that the New York City Council has prioritized effective civics education in this year’s budget by helping us to scale our action civics program throughout all five boroughs,” said Scott Warren, CEO of Generation Citizen. “This funding will allow GC to reach thousands of NYC students, equipping them with the tools to tackle tough local issues directly affecting their community. We thank the Council for investing in our young people and the future of our city’s democracy.”
Generation Citizen’s New York City Site Director, David Pechefsky, added; “Generation Citizen is incredibly honored by the Council’s support for our action civics programming. Our experience has been that given the chance, young people in our City are eager to engage in issues facing their communities and have their voices heard. This funding will allow us to dramatically expand our reach.”
The GC curriculum aims to ensure that students receive an effective, action-oriented civics education that promotes long-term civic engagement and builds collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills that students will need throughout their lives. In 2014-2015, after completion of the semester long program, 90% of student participants reported they believed they could make a difference in their communities; and according to teachers 72% of GC students increased their civic skills.
By investing in Generation Citizen’s Action Civics program the Council has demonstrated that our youth have a critical role in passionate and responsible civic participation.