America in Action: Make Civics Education Come to Life (page 2)

America in Action: Make Civics Education Come to Life

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Updated on Jan 15, 2009

For Older Kids

Many avenues exist for showing teenagers about how voice works in democracy beyond high school government class. Sit in on an advisory council, homeowners association or parent-teacher organization, and let your child tag along. Find an issue that affects your child and write a letter together to the editor of your school or community newspaper. With due thought and preparation, you may even want to consider teaching your child how to properly participate in a little civil disobedience by engaging in the live classroom of a peaceable demonstration. Educate your child on protest propriety and make sure she understands why you feel it is important to be there. Better yet if it’s an issue that is meaningful to her, too—a rally against the local school board’s cuts to programs your child enjoys, for example. Instead of focusing on the setback, help your child focus on the many positive, safe and active ways to affirm her dissent. How better for children to understand the Constitution than through exercising the freedoms it gives them?


It doesn’t take an activist to raise a civic-minded kid . . . but being a good example means no more “forgetting” to vote in primary elections or finding creative excuses to get out of jury duty! When parents simply take their municipal responsibility seriously, then chances are good that their kids will, too. We owe it to our children—and our nation— to raise the next generation with a strong sense of democratic obligation and pride.

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