How does a bill become a law? What is the order of Presidential succession? Which house of Congress is responsible for originating spending bills? How does the Supreme Court decide which cases to hear? If you dig back deep in your memory to your high school civics class, you probably remember seeing those questions on homework or a quiz.
The Institute of Politics’ CIVICS Program works to address the civics education gap by placing motivated and service-minded undergraduates in 25 fifth grade classrooms across Boston and Cambridge to teach a civics curriculum with the goal of empowering the next generation of engaged, informed, and active citizens.
In the fall of each year, students teach about the structure of government, the three branches of government, elections, media, and current events. In the spring, we teach about rights, responsibilities, community engagement, civil rights, and leadership.
Some of the most exciting days for students are when IOP Resident Fellows visit CIVICS classrooms and share their knowledge and passion for civics and public service. Earlier this semester, IOP Visiting Fellow and former Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn visited Everett Elementary School, and on Thursday of this week, former New Orleans Mayor and Visiting Fellow Mitch Landrieu visited Peabody Elementary School with his wife Cheryl.
CIVICS students are driven to provide civics classes to a range of communities and socioeconomic backgrounds. They have worked to provide a culturally relevant and empowering curriculum, in order to provide challenging and thoughtful lessons for all students while addressing the civic education gap.