Empowering Tomorrow’s Citizens: East Bronx Academy for the Future’s Civics Learning Week Civics Day Celebration and More!

Written by Dalvin Bartley, Program Manager for GC Mid-Atlantic Region

What is Civic Learning Week?

Civic Learning Week aims to highlight the importance of civic education in sustaining and strengthening our democracy. It brings together students, educators, policymakers, and private sector leaders to energize the movement for civic education nationwide. Last year’s Civic Learning Week was a roaring success, with over 18,000 views of the National Forum and participation from 375+ schools across 21 states.

East Bronx Academy for the Future (EBA) is excited about Civic Learning Week 2024! They will showcase all of the civic engagement that has taken place throughout the year by providing their community with civic knowledge and engagement opportunities, culminating in a Civic Celebration Day modeled after Generation Citizen’s flagship Civics Day events!

Why Civics Matters

Civics education is more than textbooks and lectures — it’s about preparing our students to be informed, active citizens.

EBA’s Civics Day aims to reinforce the importance of civic knowledge, critical thinking, and community involvement. Christine Montera, the Civics For All Coordinator at East Bronx Academy, is moved by how civics education has shifted the way her students approach her class. She states, “My students were hesitant to attend [Civics Day], but they came back with so much to tell their peers about the presentations, speakers, and experience of Civics Day that now everyone wishes they had attended. Their experience was unlike any other, and it was really powerful for both the students who attended and the students who participated in the project for the entire marking period.” 

East Bronx Academy for the Future plans to ensure that this experience is palpable for all students during Civic Learning Week! Here’s how they are going to make it happen:

  1. Civics Week Thematic Focus

Throughout the week, students will have the opportunity to attend workshops and participate in activities that will educate the entire EBA community about civic learning and engagement. Each day of the week will have a different thematic focus: Defining Civics, Civics at Home/Personal Civics, Civics at School, Civics in the Community, and Putting Civics into Action!

  1. Family Engagement

In order to engage the entire community in civic education, EBA invited Dr. Lindsey Cormack, author and speaker of an upcoming book that discusses how to raise citizens (for parents), to share different tips on how families can engage in civic discussions.

  1. Seal of Civic Readiness

Civics isn’t just about theory — it’s about action. Students will spend time learning about the benefits of the civic seal and determine pathways that they can complete in order to obtain the Seal for graduation.

  1. Student Voice

The Student Government will spend the week discussing the importance of civic engagement, working in groups to develop submissions for the NYC Civics Week Poster contest, and providing visibility around all of the civic success students at EBA have achieved.

  1. Community Service Opportunities

Baez, the Teen Civics Ambassador from the New York Public Library, will provide the students with different community service and civic engagement opportunities that they can sign up for.

  1. Voter Registration

Student voice is important – not only when it comes to what happens at school but also in the power to advocate and make changes in their communities. One of the easiest ways to do that is to vote! EBA will be working to register students 16 and up (16 to 17-year-olds can pre-register!) to ensure that they have the opportunity to use their voice in the democratic process.

  1. Civics Day Ceremony

As the week draws to a close, students from EBA, elected officials, and guests from Generation Citizen and other organizations will have the opportunity to view all of the great civic work that has taken place at East Bronx Academy for the Future! Guests will watch the opening ceremony, consisting of a guest speaker and some student representatives. Guests will then be able to rotate through the projects that students have completed and provide feedback and insights into the democratic journey that they are on. 

Looking Ahead

EBA’s Civic Learning Week is the perfect example of how civics should live in schools: as a culture. Students develop a deeper understanding of their role as citizens and a renewed sense of responsibility. As you plan for next year, we hope you envision bringing workshops, community partnerships, and impactful projects to your school as well!

Civics education isn’t a one-day event—it’s a lifelong journey. This Civics Day is just the beginning, igniting a passion for active citizenship that will shape all students’ futures.

Join us at one of our Spring Civics Days this semester as we continue to empower tomorrow’s citizens—one workshop, one vote, and one act of kindness at a time.

Remember: Democracy begins with you.

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