New Civics Web Site a Resource for Teachers, Students, Parents and Community Leaders
As part of Civics Month and the Civic Literacy Initiative of Kentucky’s (CLIK) efforts to increase civic engagement and literacy among Kentucky’s citizens, the Kentucky Workgroup on Civic Literacy launched civics.ky.gov as a one-stop location for civic information across the commonwealth. The site features lesson plans for teachers, games for students, resources for parents and ways for community leaders to get involved. Secretary of State Trey Grayson serves as chair of the workgroup and his office will maintain the site.
“This Web site will be an outstanding resource to better engage and inform Kentucky citizens,” remarked Grayson. “I am particularly excited about all of the resources that we have for teachers. No longer will they have to go to multiple locations to find relevant lesson plans for civics topics.”
The CLIK is a nonpartisan multi-year effort to enhance civic engagement and civic literacy within the commonwealth. As part of the initiative, numerous summits were previously held to determine Kentucky’s strengths and weaknesses with regard to civic education and engagement. In September 2006, Grayson announced the workgroup’s publication; Rediscovering Democracy: An Agenda for Action. The agenda calls upon Kentucky leaders to take four essential steps to increase the civic literacy and engagement of the commonwealth’s citizens:
- The establishment of the Kentucky Center for Civic Excellence in partnership with state universities or colleges.
- The implementation of a pilot study of a high school government and civics course that integrates both civic literacy and civic engagement at the local, state and federal level.
- The creation of an annual teacher academy and network to provide professional development in the area of government and civics.
- Increasing by 5 percent the degree to which government and civics are assessed in the blueprint of the statewide student assessment.
These recommendations, together with over 60 additional key suggestions, provide a blueprint for such a result.
The Web site fulfills a number of the additional recommendations by providing citizens, most notably teachers, with one site where civic education and engagement resources may be found. The site has a number of lesson plans from a variety of organizations divided by topic and age range. It also highlights a number of initiatives and programs supported by CLIK and administered through the Office of the Secretary of State, such as the Kentucky Student Mock Election, The Office of the Secretary of State Slogan and Essay Contest and Constitution Day activities.
The site will also host information for the Southern Coalition on Civic Education, a 13-state coalition developed to encourage government, community and education leaders to incorporate civic knowledge, skills and attitudes into policies, programs and instruction that support effective civic education and engagement from early childhood through adulthood. Kentucky and the workgroup have hosted the first two Southern Conferences on Civic Literacy Education in Louisville, Kentucky.
“This Web site will only further strengthen our efforts to increase civic education, literacy and engagement in Kentucky,” said Grayson of the nationally acclaimed CLIK. “I hope citizens will take a moment to think about the contribution they can make to our society by encouraging their fellow citizens to be involved. This site is an excellent way for Kentuckians to learn more about civics and to become engaged.”