Guest Column Back to top.
A program called KNITTING PINK FOR HOPE has had a big impact on many lives in the Pacific Northwest. Students, teachers and administrators at Jenkins Creek Elementary School in Covington, Washington started knitting pink scarves as a sign of hope and solidarity for breast cancer patients. This inspiring story is an outstanding example of a student movement which made them more aware of others and, thus, better citizens.
What States Are Doing Back to top.
The Greendale (WISCONSIN) School Board has voted unanimously to add one or two student members to the Board in an advisory capacity. The students will begin serving in December, through the 2008-09 school year. The addition of Greendale High School students is a pilot project to be evaluated in June 2009.
In ILLINOIS, the DuPage County Board of Education has passed a resolution declaring a year of civic engagement. The resolution reads, in part, "WHEREAS, the DuPage County Board supports the efforts of diverse organizations county-wide to increase public involvement in government affairs and other civic institutions for the purpose of fostering citizen-initiated democratic communities where members of the public are civically engaged on a daily basis and understand and practice their civic rights and responsibilities." DuPage County's regional superintendent is Darlene J. Ruscitti, a 100 District Leader Network member. To read the full resolution click on the link below.
Governor Phil Bredesen has signed legislation amending TENNESSEE Code to extend the duration of the Civic Education Commission. The commission must make its report before July 1, 2009.
Good Reads Back to top.
In an effort to better understand the TRENDS IN COMMUNITY SERVICE AND SERVICE-LEARNING, the Corporation for National and Community Service surveyed a national sample of over 2,000 K-12 public school principals regarding service in their schools and compared findings to a 1999 study, analyzing changes over time. The research report Community Service and Service-Learning in America's Schools provides insight into the prevalence of community service and service-learning in public schools as well as the supports and policies in place to sustain and build service-learning programs.
MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN, president of the Children's Defense Fund, has released a new book, The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation. In a series of letters, Edelman identifies the societal problems affecting and harming poor children and offers readers courses of action to take that will stop and reverse these problems. Read more at:
A MacArthur Foundation occasional paper, The Civic Potential of Video Games, explores the civic learning opportunities offered in video games, the relationship of those experiences to teens' civic engagement, and implications for parents, educators and policymakers. The paper is based on data from the first ever national SURVEY OF TEEN GAMING HABITS AND CIVICS. A report providing a broader overview of the survey findings is also available.
New Center Publications Back to top.
While not strictly a Center publication, the October 2008 issue of The School Administrator features an article, "Renewing the Civic Mission of Schools," jointly written by NCLC Executive Director Terry Pickeral and Charles C. Haynes, senior scholar at the First Amendment Center. The theme of the October School Administrator is "Educating for Democracy." For DEMOCRACY TO FLOURISH, public education must play a central role in promoting responsible moral action that serves the common good.
A new publication in the ECS series The Progress of Education Reform (November 2008) highlights Hispanic students. Read A Growing Population: Hispanic students in U.S. schools and the implications for American education to learn about research and insights on strategies that show promise in promoting greater educational ATTAINMENT FOR HISPANIC STUDENTS.
Meetings & Events Back to top.
NCLC executive director Terry Pickeral recently took part in meetings held by two important NATIONAL INITIATIVES. Read Terry's account of America's Promise: Ready for the Real World and Special Olympics Project UNIFY.
The National Youth Leadership Council and Volunteer Tennessee will host the 20th Annual NATIONAL SERVICE-LEARNING CONFERENCE: Growing Hope, Cultivating Change, March 18-21, 2009. The largest gathering of youths and practitioners involved in the service-learning movement, the conference engages participants in local, national and global issues that service-learning addresses. Registration deadline is December 31, 2008.
Names in the News Back to top.
Werner Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colorado, has been named a No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School by the U. S. Department of Education. Werner is in the Poudre School District whose superintendent, JERRY WILSON, is a member of NCLC's 100 District Leaders Network.
ARTHUR W. STELLAR, superintendent of the Taunton Public School District, has been awarded a Fulbright Teacher Exchange grant for administrators in Mexico, the U. S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced recently. Stellar is a member of NCLC's 100 District Leaders Network.
The November issue of ASCD's Educational Leadership highlights SHELDON BERMAN and his work in two very different school districts, Hudson (Massachusetts) Public Schools and Jefferson County (Kentucky) Public Schools. Berman, widely regarded as a national leader in service-learning and student success, has implemented programs that empower students to become leaders. He is a member of the NCLC Executive Board and the 100 District Leaders Network.
A former ELL student in the Kent (Washington) School District, who spent the better part of his childhood in refugee camps after escaping from Viet Nam, has become a super star in the district's administration. THUAN NGUYEN is a model of the "American dream," beginning as a junior high student and intern with Kent and serving now as their director of Information Technology. Kent district Superintendent Barbara Grohe, NCLC chair and 100 District Leaders Network member, reflected, "I think he is truly one worthy of recognition." Read the inspiring story of this remarkable man.
Updates from NACE Back to top.
Citizenship Matters regularly features new information available on the NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CIVIC EDUCATION'S (NACE) Web site. NACE comprises over 200 group and individual members committed to advancing civic knowledge and engagement.
Other Useful Web sites Back to top.
The New York State Bar Association has announced the creation of a new Web site designed to help educators instill CIVIC VALUES AND PARTICIPATION IN YOUNG CHILDREN. A project of the Association's Committee on Law, Youth & Citizenship and of the New York State Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, the New York State Consortium for Civic Learning Web site presents a preK-12 civics education online resource for New York's teachers, supervisors and curriculum developers. Information and activities on the Web site are available free of charge.
Project Learning TreeŽ (PLT), a national environmental education program sponsored by the American Forest Foundation and Esurance, is making grants of up to $6,000 available to schools in the Denver, Phoenix and Sacramento metropolitan areas for ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICE-LEARNING PROJECTS through PLT's GreenWorks! program. The deadline for applications is January 30, 2009. Teachers can receive more information and apply online at:
An estimated 23 MILLION YOUNG AMERICANS under the age of 30 voted in the November 4th presidential election, an increase of 3.4 million compared with 2004, reports Tufts University's Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).
International Focus Back to top.
The 6th annual report from the Citizenship Education Longitudinal Study (CELS) has recently been published. Young People's Civic Participation In and Beyond School: Attitudes, Intentions and Influences focuses on young people's civic participation in and outside of school. The findings advance thinking and understanding about how young people develop citizenship dimensions and raise a number of issues that require further investigation. Started in 2001 when citizenship education became a compulsory subject for all schools in England, CELS is the biggest and longest-running study about the IMPACT OF CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION anywhere in the world.
After decades of campaigning by children's rights advocates in the UK, the law was finally changed on November 11, 2008 to require all maintained schools in England and Wales to consider the VIEWS OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE. Carolyne Willow, national coordinator of Children's Rights Alliance for England, says: "This is a historic moment that we have worked for years to achieve. It was simply unacceptable that schools should have no legal obligation to consider children's views. This change in the law should help transform the culture of schools, with children being firmly at the centre of policy and practice. Progressive educationalists will be delighted too--for them there is no question that children should have their views taken into account."