As part of its commitment to support civic education and engagement, the Santa Clara County Office of Education partners with key community stakeholders to help students and families “learn, engage, and take action” to increase civic literacy and involvement.
Research shows that robust civic learning helps students beyond the classroom – giving them opportunities to analyze, address, and ultimately have a hand in solving complex issues that are important to them and those around them. Furthermore, research findings correlate high-quality civic learning to increased academic achievement, student engagement, and reduced dropout rates.
Civic engagement happens wherever there are people. Yet, some communities show a higher degree of engagement than others, which leads to fewer intractable problems and a higher quality of life. Where there is inclusive civic engagement, in which everyone has a place at the table to define, direct and implement public services and amenities, there is greater civic pride and responsibility, which then lead to sustained community wellbeing.
The initiative has a multifaceted approach:
• Education: To maintain a strong democracy, all students (TK-12) will have rigorous instruction and real-life experiences in civics. Parents and families will have the opportunity to learn about and participate in civic engagement activities.
• Partnerships: Working with community partners, the Initiative will strengthen student, family, and community civic engagement.
• Communications: Through common messages and an information campaign, the importance of civic engagement and participation will be shared with the community.