In celebration of Lincoln’s birthday and Presidents’ Day, the senior class at Roberto Clemente High School participated in “Civics Day” on Thursday, February 13th. The goal of this day is to remedy disturbing trends in the civic engagement of American teens. Nationwide data suggests a general decline in students’ civic skills and knowledge over the last several decades. Perhaps even more disturbing is the widening “civic empowerment gap” that has emerged between wealthy school districts and their minority and/or economically disadvantaged counterparts. This Thursday, the senior class at Roberto Clemente took measures to correct that imbalance.
The senior class participated in different Civics Activities that followed an engaging sequence, beginning with the foundations of democracy and the tensions inherent in it; social organization; election of leaders; the creation, execution and review of laws; and ending with how groups organize to challenge structures and laws when necessary. This learning trajectory brings us full circle to re-consider our core identity, values, and strategies to organize ourselves. It was a great day for the senior class at Roberto Clemente and helped build a better understanding of civic duty and pride.
Chicago Public Schools launched the Global Citizenship Initiative (GCI) during the 2012-13 school year. A cornerstone of GCI is a 12th grade course through which students develop the critical knowledge, skills, and dispositions to be prepared for active and engaged civic participation.