Civic engagement is foundational for a thriving democracy. Young people need to be equipped and motivated to participate as active members of their communities. High-quality civics education empowers youth to take action on issues they care about. Yet civics education is chronically underfunded, and the spread of misinformation can discourage youth from active citizenship. In the meantime, there is enormous need to build the public service workforce.
To address these challenges, EDC has crafted the Supporting Readiness through Vital Civic Empowerment (SRVCE) program with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense. SRVCE blends inquiry-based civic learning, media literacy education, and exploration of careers in public service to prepare students to be active citizens and thrive in the workforce.
With key partners and collaborators, EDC is carrying out the following activities:
- Developing five integrated curriculum modules on a range of civic issues designed to facilitate inquiry that is rooted in students’ local communities
- Integrating media literacy resources and tools that equip students to research topics of interest, analyze information, and share their ideas to make a difference
- Designing and delivering professional learning to support teachers in implementing the curriculum through a blended and contextual learning approach
- Curating profiles of veterans and other people engaged in the civic life of their communities, reflecting multiple perspectives and illuminating stories of service
- Incorporating career exploration, workforce experiences, and development of a professional skill portfolio to bridge the gap between the classroom and the real world
- The SRVCE pilot program engages more than 550 high school students, building their civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
- Up to 30 teachers are expected to participate in the pilot, enhancing their civic knowledge, skills, and inquiry-based practice.
- The pilot is being implemented in 14 schools across 13 states, including military-connected schools with JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) programs and public service and public safety career pathways.
- SRVCE will culminate in a replicable and scalable model for robust civic inquiry.
Generation Citizen, National Association for Media Literacy Education, Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, Law and Public Safety Education Network, National Career Academy Coalition, National Council for the Social Studies, StoryCorps