The DOE believes civics education is an essential part of every student’s core academic experience. We launched the Civics for All initiative to strengthen opportunities for students to develop skills and knowledge related to democracy. The goal is for all our students to become engaged citizens who can think critically and are empowered to chart the course that our city and country take. Civics for All helps schools support students in making connections between history, current events, and democratic structures.
For the first time, New York City schools dedicated a full week in April to celebrating youth voice, the importance of registering to vote, and civic empowerment. Activities included:
- Voter registration of all eligible high school students. To be eligible, a student must be a U.S. citizen and 18 years old by December 31, 2019.
- A poster competition in which high school students are invited to showcase their artistic talents and civic engagement beliefs.
- A public speaking competition called SoapboxNYC. Students compete by speaking out on issues that affect them and their communities. Students in all grades can participate.
- Town Hall meetings for students, teachers, and administrators to discuss issues affecting their schools and communities.
- Participatory budgeting activities in 48 high schools. Students determine how to spend $2,000 provided by the Department of Education.
- Visits from student activists in other cities. Cities include Los Angeles, Houston, and Columbus, Ohio. Visiting students will give presentations, engage in debate, and discuss national issues impacting young people.
Resources for Schools
Teachers and administrators who want to learn more about Civics for All should visit the Civics for All InfoHub page.