You can change the world! It’s never too early to start.
That’s the lesson Scholastic and Levi Strauss & Co. are encouraging through “Civics IRL (in real life)”, a new campaign designed to educate middle and high school students about civic engagement and the power of active citizenship.
Launching today, this collection of lesson plans, online resources, and interactive multi-media — including teen testimonials highlighting incredible efforts to be active citizens and guidance about how to get involved — provides educators and students a wealth of information about how young people can address important issues to them through civic engagement.
With all that is happening in the news today, it can be easy for students to feel powerless. But nothing can be further from the truth. Students across the country are making a real difference in their schools, their states, and even the global community.
“This in-classroom program builds on the commitment that both Levi Strauss & Co. and Scholastic have to educate students about civics and how their government works,” says Chandra Turner, Executive Director of Scholastic National Partnerships. “We hope that this program inspires teachers to motivate their students to get involved and to make change where they feel change is needed.”
The Civics IRL website provides tools that aim to help this generation of students understand our civics systems — and how to engage as responsible citizens. The program includes:
- “We the People” a free online resource from Scholastic focused on civics education and media literacy for students in grade 4-10.
- Special edition digital mini magazines of The New York Times UPFRONT® and Junior Scholastic®: These engaging magazines feature teens who are making a difference in the world, whether it’s working with marginalized communities, getting involved in environmental causes, or even running for local government. These magazines provide additional resources for teachers, including a four–page Teacher’s Guide filled with step-by-step lesson plans, discussion points, and classroom activities to help teachers meet rigorous academic standards.
- “You Can Change the World” video featuring activist teens sharing their tips for how students can get involved in a cause that matters to them.
- “Find Your Rep” resource guide: An interactive tool where students can locate and connect with their local, state, and federal representatives.
- “Where to Volunteer Now” resource hub: A diverse range of organizations nationwide where students can give back to their communities.
Young people are trying to get a better grasp on the pressing issues facing the world today. They are also looking for ways to get involved and take meaningful action in their communities. As a company guided by the values of empathy, integrity, originality and courage, we believe the “Civics IRL” lessons will educate and empower young people to do just that.
Now more than ever, there is a fundamental need for civic responsibility – and we think the next generation is the best place to start.
So, students take note – heed the words of the program and know that you can change the world! See something you don’t like? You have the power to change it.