Grant Competition to Improve Public Knowledge of and Support for Democracy

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FY 2007 Awards

Civic Education - Improve Public Knowledge of and Support for Democracy CFDA 84.304C

This grant provides assistance to improve the quality of civic education through the implementation of comprehensive programs to improve public knowledge, understanding, and support of the United States Congress and the State legislatures. Eligible applicants are State educational agencies (SEAs), local educational agencies (LEAs), institutions for higher education; and other public and private agencies, organizations, and institutions, or a combination of such entities. There were three new grant awards made in fiscal year 2007. Each new project is described below.

PROJECT ABSTRACTS

Hillsborough County Public Schools
Tampa, Florida
Project ELECT - Educating Learners to Engage in Civics Today
Project Director: Dennis Holt
(813) 272-4932
Funding Amount: $2,040,147.00

The goal of Project ELECT--Educating Learners to Engage in Civics Today--is to improve the quality of civic education in Hillsborough County Public Schools (HCPS) through the implementation of innovative and comprehensive programs to improve public knowledge, understanding, and support of the federal and State legislatures. Throughout Project ELECT, HCPS students, teachers, and community members will learn about government from the United States and Florida legislators. In a partnership with the University of South Florida (USF), a full spectrum of additional resources and professional development will be created to provide this comprehensive program to the public.

USF will provide a summer institute for teachers and administrators to receive training in the areas of civic education, the U.S. government, cultural competence, and leadership. The teachers will receive an interactive CD ROM about civic education, a DVD series on Democracy, model lesson plans, and books for the book circle. In addition, the Education Channel will film and broadcast a Democracy series featuring local, state, and federal representatives. The Democracy series will be broadcast on three networks and will reach community members, parents, and students.

Project ELECT will: 1) increase student achieve; 2) increase teacher knowledge and awareness; 3) develop civic education curriculum; 4) inform community members about the U.S. government; and 5) increase voters within the community. Both quantitative and qualitative data will be gathered. Formative assessments will be conducted as the initiative unfolds to allow for data based changes to occur. Quarterly and annual reports will be provided, along with data collection reports and technical assistance. The project plan for implementation will involve 27 collaborative partners across three phases of the project: capacity building, summer institutes, and classroom implementation. The potential contribution of Project ELECT is to create and implement a comprehensive, structured, culturally competent civic education program that improves the knowledge, understanding, and support of the U.S. Congress and State legislatures that will increase civic knowledge in schools and communities.

Yonkers Public Schools
Yonkers, New York
Adapting Project LEGAL to Improve Knowledge of and
Support for Our Legislative Process
Project Director: Anthony Michel Brooks
(917) 701-6541
Funding Amount: $491, 862.00

To address the Yonkers Public Schools' poor achievement in social studies, this project is "Adapting Project LEGAL." This is a State and nationally validated program in citizenship, more specifically in the legislative process and problem solving skills. There are four critical teacher objectives in Project LEGAL: 1) curriculum restructuring; 2) in-service training; 3) integrating computer applications; and 4) learning to develop Web Quests and Power Points to assist students with acquiring the research skills to develop legislative solutions for local, state, and national issues.

The teacher objectives will produce four student objectives to: 1) show significant gains (.05) on the state mandated history and government exams each year; 2) produce public policy work product solutions (as performance indicators) to real-world social problems using the Public Policy Analyst Internet application; 3) show significant gains (.05) from pre to post on the Project LEGAL's nationally validated tests on public policy skills; and (4) show significant gains (.05) from pre to post on the Project LEGAL's Technology Knowledge, Skills, and Usage Survey.

As a result of intensive workshops and ongoing technical assistance throughout the project, teachers will learn how to integrate Project LEGAL's exemplary Internet applications for analyzing historical and current legislative issues, as well as a new application, entitled As-A-Local Legislator, to be created for Project LEGAL. All teachers will be required to develop Web Quests and Power Points, and students will be required to develop participation products on legislative solutions to state or national social problems. An outside evaluation company will manage the evaluation process.

Chiesman Foundation for Democracy, Inc.
Rapid City, South Dakota
LEGIS Project (Legislative Education for Greater Inquiry and Study)
Project Director: John J. Usera
(605) 341-4311
Funding Amount: $462,741.00

The overall goal of the LEGIS (Legislative Education for Greater Inquiry and Study) project is to improve the quality of civic education that advances public knowledge, understanding, and support of the United States Congress and the South Dakota State legislature. The outcome objectives are to improve: 1) participants' knowledge and understanding of the principles that make a democratic government; 2) participants' knowledge and understanding of how the U.S. government fits the model of a democracy; 3) participants' knowledge and understanding of the role and functions of the U.S. Congress and South Dakota State legislature as defined by their constitutions; 4) participants knowledge and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of an American citizen; 5) participants' ability to discuss the effectiveness of the U.S. Congress and South Dakota State legislature in addressing public policy; and 6) increase teachers' use of primary source documents for civic education.

The expected short-term outcomes include: 1) improved public (students and adults) knowledge and understanding of the role and functions of the U.S. Congress and State legislature, and 2) improved public understanding of and participation in making changes for the betterment of State and federal government. The expected long-term outcome is improved public knowledge, understanding, and support of the United States Congress and State legislatures.


 
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Last Modified: 10/23/2007