Civics for All

About Civics for All

Civic education is an essential part of every student’s core academic program. The DOE believes that teaching the foundations and function of local, state, and federal government and the importance of engaging in the democratic process is necessary to build a more engaged, active future citizen and informed voter.

Launched in 2018, Civics for All provides resources, materials, professional learning, and student-facing programming to all NYCDOE schools. The initiative focuses on K-12 culturally responsive civic education models that are interactive, project-based, and relevant to students’ lives.

Student Voter Registration Drive

As an integral part of Civics Week each year, the DOE hosts an annual Student Voter Registration drive for U.S. citizens who are 16 years of age or older. This year’s student voter registration drive will take place in NYCDOE high schools from March 7-11.

The Mayor's Public Engagement Unit has created a customized voter registration video for NYCDOE students explaining the voter registration process to share with your high school classrooms. 

Elected Officials

Year-round we encourage schools to work with students on understanding the role of the elected officials who represent them. To support this work some of New York's former and current elected officials have created videos teaching students about their role and answering their questions. Videos with Elected Official’s names and titles are available in the Elected Official Videos for Civics for All document. This document also incorporates the corresponding Civics for All lessons that could be taught in addition to viewing each of the Elected Official's videos.

Civics for All Comics

Action Activists Resource Guide

The NYCDOE Civics for All and Social Studies team collaborated with Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, the authors of the well-regarded and highly popular Action Presidents and Action Philosophers series, to create Action Activists and Action Activists #2.

Action Activists is intended for middle school students. It can be used to teach about how our system of government works and how students can become civically engaged as a part of the Civics for All initiative. The resources linked in the resource guide have been curated to support teachers in using Action Activists in the classroom.

Registered Resource Guide

The NYCDOE Civics for All and Social Studies team collaborated with Good Trouble Comics to create Registered, a comic retelling of the passage of the 26th Amendment and Recognized, a two-part LGBTQ+ graphic history.

Registered and Recognized are intended for high school students. The resources linked in the resource guide have been curated to support teachers in using Registered in the classroom.

Civics Week Poster 2022 Contest

New York City students in grades K through 12 are invited each Spring during Civics Week to showcase their artistic talent and civic engagement by participating in the annual NYCDOE Civics for All Poster Contest.

The 2022 Poster Contest is live and submissions are due March 21st.

We would like to thank all of the students who submitted posters for the 3rd annual Civics for All Poster Contest! We are proud to announce the 2021 Civics Week Poster Contest Winners:

  • K-2 Grade Band Winner: Help Clean the Earth! Created by Ryan Chen
  • Grade Band Winner: United We Stand Created by Sophia Navarro
  • 6-8 Grade Band Winner: Civic Ideals Created by Sunny Ye
  • 9-12 Grade Band Winner: Stop the Destruction of Planet Earth Created by Nicole Foto

Curriculum

The K-12 civics curriculum is available on WeTeachNYC!

A team of NYCDOE staff, New York City teachers, and various cultural partners developed the curriculum to be flexible enough to be usable in a number of different settings and configurations and to fit the needs of all New York City classrooms. Civics For All is a companion to the Passport to Social Studies, designed with the New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies Learning Standards, and the New York City K-12 Social Studies Scope & Sequence in mind.

The curriculum is organized into four different grade bands K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each grade band contains two parts. Direct links to each of the grade bands and parts are listed below.

Schools can request additional copies of the civics curriculum using this Civics Request Form.

Classroom Resources for Teachers

  • Civics for All Curriculum - These sets of resources are the K-12 civics curriculum designed for New York City classrooms.
  • Visit a regularly updated list of materials and resources shared with us for Remote Learning Opportunities by Civics for All and Social Studies partners
  • Visit the TeachHub for Passport to Social Studies blended learning lessons.
  • The Grades K-12: Current Issues and Events folder located on TeachHub features the newly added Election 2020 Resources Guide and K-12: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Teaching Resources.
  • Participatory Budgeting In Your School - This guide includes resources and activities to help you lead a student-driven, democratic participatory budgeting process in your school.
  • Vote: An Instructional Guide to Elections - This resource includes guidance for student voter registration and activities to deepen student understanding of voting, elections, and political engagement.
  • Current Issues & Events are lesson plans and resources to aid in teaching current issues and events. 
  • More resources will be added as they become available. Please check back for more.

Opportunities

Civics for All Partner School

The Civics for All Partner School Program is an opportunity for schools of all grade levels to implement the Civics for All initiative while receiving support from Civics for All Coaches and civics advocacy organizations. Partner Schools will receive guidance in implementing instructional resources, accessing authentic civic learning opportunities, and implementing age appropriate civic action and real-life democracy projects.

2022-2023 Partner School Applications will be available in late spring 2022.

Partnerships

Civics for All fosters partnerships between civics organizations and Civics for All Partner Schools. Organizations collaborate with DOE Civics Instructional Leads to support schools in their implementation of the Civics for All civic action projects.

Schools receive individualized support to meet shared NYC DOE goals. Organizations that have existing partnerships with DOE schools are encouraged to continue those relationships in support of the goals of the Civics for All initiative.

To get involved, email civicsforall@schools.nyc.gov.

Events

Civics Week

Civics Week is a time each spring for schools across the city to celebrate youth voice, civic empowerment, and the importance of registering to vote. Part of the Civics for All initiative, supported by DemocracyNYC, Civics Week includes efforts to get every young person to understand that their voice matters and that they can create change as active participants of their community. Civics Week 2022 is taking place March 7-11. Schools can access the Civics Week Digital Collection to learn more.

SoapboxNYC

SoapboxNYC is a public speaking competition that calls on students to speak out about issues that affect them and their communities. Students create and advocate for solutions to improve their schools, communities, and the lives of other young people. Watch the Welcome to Project Soapbox video to see the event in action. 

Contact

For specific questions, or to learn more about Civics for All, email civicsforall@schools.nyc.gov.

See Also

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