GC to Receive Funding from Knight Foundation

Today, we’re excited to announce that Generation Citizen has received a transformative grant of $190,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to both evaluate and expand our work.  We are truly grateful to the Knight Foundation for taking a chance on us, and believing in action civics.  See the press release below from the Knight Foundation.

Part of this grant will allow us to work with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a leading youth civic engagement research center.  For the last two years, Brown University Professor of Education Kenneth Wong has used a small grant from the Spencer Foundation to examine Generation Citizen as a model of action civics. This report by CIRCLE, which is also being released today, summarizes the case for action civics and highlights some of the work that came out of the Spencer-funded research. The studies found that participating in Generation Citizen has benefits for both students and the college student volunteer Democracy Coaches.

Please download here to take a look Generation Citizen Fact Sheet June 17 Final


Contact: Anusha Alikhan, 305-908-2677; media@knightfoundation.org

Generation Citizen to expand its youth civic action program with $190,000 from Knight Foundation


NEW YORK – (July 10, 2013) – Generation Citizen, a nonprofit that teaches and equips young people to become engaged and effective citizens, will expand its program with $190,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Since its founding in 2008, Generation Citizen has helped over 10,000 students become change-makers in their communities. Its innovative “action civics” curriculum partners college students with high school teachers to educate teens about solving problems in their communities community and contributing to an active democracy. The organization currently operates in Boston, Providence, R.I., and New York; as part of the new funding it will expand to San Jose, Calif. and one other community where Knight invests.

Additionally, Knight’s support will be used to help Generation Citizen strengthen and improve their work through a new program that aims to provide youth with real-world skills and technology tools so they can take more direct action on community issues they care about—from gang violence to public transit and teen jobs. As part of a pilot program, Generation Citizen will work with 10,000 students in 2013-14 in two Knight communities. Participants will be connected with mentors who help them implement their ideas for change.

The expansion of Generation Citizen’s model will be supported by a partnership with the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a leader in civic engagement study and evaluation. CIRCLE will examine the impact of Generation Citizen’s programming by measuring long-term community attachment and behavioral changes amongst its youth participants. Findings from the study will be used to improve the curriculum, as well as create a portfolio of online tools that can eventually be applied in classrooms across the country.

“Through this work more young adults will be given the opportunity to build the knowledge and experience they need to solve problems they are passionate about and deeply engage on any issue they choose,” said Damian Thorman, Knight Foundation director of national programs. “The development of a new engagement program, as well as Generation Citizen’s strategic partnership with CIRCLE, will help establish a scalable model for youth as change-makers expanding to Knight communities and beyond.”

“Generation Citizen is on its way to revitalizing civics education in this country, both in bringing it back into the classroom and making it relevant to the development of a strong democracy,” said Scott Warren, Generation Citizen’s executive director. “This new funding will be absolutely catalytic to both expanding our reach, and measuring the program’s impact in a manner that will systematize and multiply its success.”

Currently, Generation Citizen is working with 6,000 students in the areas it serves.  Youth participants have helped improve the civic health of their communities by successfully changing recycling laws, getting more teen centers built through community advocacy, establishing official partnerships with local police departments and introducing legislation on public safety.

About Generation Citizen

Founded in 2008, Generation Citizen is a nonprofit organization that teaches middle and high school students from how to solve problems that plague their communities through civic engagement. Through a 10-week action-civics course, students are guided by teachers and trained college student volunteers to identify threats in their community and work toward creating solutions that lead to a better quality of life for themselves and fellow citizens. Students learn what it means to be effective and engaged citizens and recognize that they can be instruments of social change. Generation Citizen currently operates programs in Boston, New York City and Providence. To date, the program has worked with more than 10,000 students.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visitwww.KnightFoundation.org.