Being a good citizen is about more than simply knowing some memorized facts that you can pull off of the Internet. It is, in many ways, also about being involved with your community and learning how to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of your fellow citizens. Today's post comes to us from the FJCC's own Val McVey, and she shares with us resources that can be used to engage with your community and learn how to be a good citizen.

The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Civics lend themselves to meaningful student engagement with the community. Some of the benchmarks require service learning while others ask students to identify ways citizens can be involved and make positive contributions to their community and work with others to solve problems.

Benchmarks Include -

  • 1.C.2.3 - Identify ways students can participate in the betterment of their school and community
  • 2.C.2.4 - Identify ways citizens can make a positive contribution in their community
  • 3.C.2.1 - Identify group and individual actions of citizens that demonstrate civility, cooperation, volunteerism, and other civic virtues
  • 4.C.2.2 - Identify ways citizens work together to influence government and help solve community and state problems
  • 5.C.2.5 - Identify ways good citizens go beyond basic civic and political responsibilities to improve government and society
  • 7.C.2.14 - Conduct a service project to further the public good
  • 9.C.2.5 - Conduct a service project to further the public good
  • 9.C.2.8 - Analyze the impact of citizen participation as a means of achieving political and social change
 

To assist with teaching these benchmarks, we are highlighting a handful of organizations that offer unique community engagement and service learning programs and curriculum materials.

If you have another organization to add to the list, we would love to hear from you!

Organizations

Do Something provides teens and young people avenues to get involved with a wide range of social change campaigns. Individual or groups of high school students can login to the website, explore in-progress campaigns, and choose a campaign to get involved with. Do Something relies heavily on teens and young peoples’ connectivity through social media.

Generator School Network is an online community of more than 5,000 youth and adult members who have discovered how they can change the world through service learning. The GSN is the leading resource for fast and easy sharing, service-learning professional development, and networking. Their clearinghouse is a searchable database with thousands of K-12 service-learning ideas, organizations and resources.

Giraffe Heroes Project’s mission is to move people to stick their necks out for the common good, and to give them tools to succeed. They provide curriculum materials (free and for purchase) that weave together character education, civic engagement and service-learning all around the mission of moving K-12 students to be courageous, compassionate, and responsible members of the community. Students learn about people who have “stuck their neck out” for the common good and how they can nominate others to become giraffe heroes.

H2O for Life educates, engages and inspires youth to learn, take action and become global citizens. They provide K-12 students with a unique and valuable learning experience through service-learning opportunities focused on the global water crisis. All of their materials are free and available for use. Their unique program offers participating U.S. schools a connection with a partner school in a developing country that needs water. Each participating school receives a project outline of the partner school, their project fundraising goal and photos to provide a name and face for Florida students.

Kid World Citizen provides multi-content area resources for K-8 teachers to teach global citizenship. Included on their website is a list of service projects and opportunities for kids to volunteer within their community that will empower kids with responsibility, engage their compassion, and offer them the chance to affect the lives of others.

Again, if you have additional organizations or resources, leave them in a comment here or shoot me an email at stephen.masyada@ucf.edu!