Civics in the Triangle is delighted to further the mission of the Institute of Politics by targeting a younger audience--elementary and high school students. Civics places motivated UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates in elementary school classrooms, teaching civics and government classes to inspire students to immerse themselves in their local communities and grow into active participants in our democracy.
After evaluating over thirty applications this fall, we conducted interviews and ultimately selected twelve undergraduate volunteers. The final selection process was extremely competitive, and we are entirely confident in every individual’s ability to lead in a classroom.
We partnered with the organization First Vote NC during October to present lessons about voting rights in Wake County high schools. Last year, First Vote NC, with the help of Carolina K-12, NCDPI and EdNC launched a civic engagement curriculum and election simulation platform in conjunction with the 2016 elections for NC public and charter high schools. More than 32,000 students voted in 46 counties in the state. We are thrilled to partner with such a valuable organization and assist its efforts in our local area. The Executive Director, Hunter Buxton, led a teaching training session on campus for our volunteers.
For the remainder of the school year, our volunteers will work with Northside Elementary School in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District. We have created our curriculum to meet the needs of seven 4th and 5th grade classrooms over a four-week long period in the fall and eight-week long period in the spring. The curriculum was developed with the following in mind: the North Carolina Literacy Standards, the spiraling of 4th and 5th grade social studies strands, and the North Carolina Essential Standards. We have aimed to supplement these standards with dynamic, engaging material that pertains to civics, emphasizing the overlapping of social studies with literacy.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, we can provide passionate undergraduates who can serve as mentors to the bright students in local schools, forging a rewarding bond between our institutions. As undergraduate students, we have a unique ability to inspire younger students and create lasting relationships within the community.