We the People: Project Citizen is a curricular program for middle, secondary, and post-secondary students, youth organizations, and adult groups that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. The program helps participants learn how to monitor and influence public policy. In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political efficacy
Entire classes of students or members of youth or adult organizations work cooperatively to identify a public policy problem in their community. They then research the problem, 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 curriculum was first used in the 1995-96 school year as a pilot in 12 states. Since then the domestic program has expanded to include schools in every state as well as American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. As of September 29, 2008, approximately 32,200 teachers have taught Project Citizen to over 1,955,000 students. Project Citizen is now used in classrooms around the world. And has been translated into more than 40 languages.
Project Citizen is administered nationally through a network of state and congressional district coordinators in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, America Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These coordinators work with government officials, business and community leaders, and local educators to contribute to the success of the program. This program is conducted with the assistance of the National Conference of State Legislatures. It is funded by the U.S. Department of Education by act of Congress. Additional funding at the state level is also provided by an increasing number of state legislatures.
The above content was extracted from the Project Citizen informational website.
For more information, please visit the Project Citizen website at the following link:
Project Citizen Website
Dr. Robert A. Waterson, Director of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship Education, was recently named the West Virginia State Director for Project Citizen.