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Project Citizen Presentation

On December 17, 2012, Tara Hannum, a Senior Research Assistant for the WVU Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education addressed a group of middle school social studies teachers from Wood County schools about implementing Project Citizen in the classroom. The WVU Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education (CDCE) worked in conjunction with the WV Civics Literacy Council to coordinate the material and the meeting.

Project Citizen is a program of the Center for Civic Education and is supported by the Department of Education in cooperation with the National Council of State Legislatures. Project Citizen is an interdisciplinary instruction program geared towards middle school and high school students. It teaches students about public policy and allows students to work together to find real world solutions to public policy issues affecting their local community or state. Student research a problem of their choice, evaluate alternative solutions, develop their own solution in the form of a public policy, and create a political action plan to enlist local or state authorities to adopt their proposed policy. Participants develop a portfolio of their work and present their project in a public hearing showcase before a panel of civic-minded community members.

The CDCE provided teachers with Project Citizen textbooks for their students to help guide them through the program. The teachers were all eager to return to their students and begin the Project Citizen process. The program is fairly new to these teachers and students. They have set up a support group to discuss issues and ideas of how to use the project to enhance their goals and stimulate their students. This group will be meeting in the future to demonstrate their students’ projects and discuss their experiences.

The group of teachers present at the meeting included Meredith Hahn of Van Devender, Leila Marlow of Ellison, Beth Trimble of Blennerhassett, Carly Flack of Jackson, and Amy Knicely of Hamilton. The meeting was coordinated by Jean Ambrose, co-chair of West Virginia Civics Literacy Council. The WV Civics Literacy Council purpose is to promote civic education and citizenship among West Virginia’s youth and young adults. Dr. Robert A. Waterson, director of the CDCE, is a member of this council.

The CDCE is housed in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. The CDCE is dedicated to taking a leadership position in the development of a new generation of American citizens. Specifically, the charge for the CDCE is to provide civic education programs, activities and resources for educators to utilize for the purpose of designing innovative and interactive opportunities for students in our schools and within our communities.

pc presentation

Front row, left to right- Carly Flack, Jean Ambrose, and Amy Knicely.
Back row, left to right- Meredith Hahn, Tara Hannum, and Leila Marlow
Beth Trimble is not pictured.

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