Students from 31 Countries Present Public Policy Proposals in Washington, D.C.

Center for Civic Education
2007-07-19 08:32 950

WASHINGTON, July 19 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ --

More than 250 young people from 31 countries gathered in Washington, D.C., July 15-17 to showcase a remarkable international civic education program called Project Citizen. Empowering a New Generation for Democracy: The International Project Citizen Showcase was the culmination of months of work by students to create public policy proposals addressing problems in their communities, from Vancouver, Washington, to Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

"From Poland, Ukraine, and Russia to South Africa, China, and points in between, young people have used the lessons of democratic citizenship taught by Project Citizen to improve their lives and communities," notes Charles N. Quigley, Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education. "Our goal is to share these Project Citizen success-stories--the results of America's 10-year investment in the program."

Project Citizen is an interactive civic education program created by the Los Angeles-based Center for Civic Education that promotes competent and responsible citizenship. Participating students identify a public policy issue that is important to them. Students then gather information about the issue, discuss alternative solutions, propose their solution, and create an action plan to implement it. Projects featured at the showcase addressed issues such as lack of potable water, inclusion of disabled students in regular classes, neglect of historical monuments, and violence in schools.

On Monday, July 16, students presented their public policy projects to panels of evaluators. Project portfolios were exhibited in the Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building on Tuesday, July 17. After the exhibit students were awarded certificates of achievement.

Classes from the following locations participated in the showcase: Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kosovo (under UN administration), Lithuania, Mali, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, Panama, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Ukraine, Thailand, Venezuela, the United States (Washington and Florida), and the West Bank and Gaza.

The Center for Civic Education's Civitas International Program administers Project Citizen and other education for democracy programs in more than 65 countries. During the 2005-2006 school year the programs provided civic education to an estimated 2 million students worldwide. Civitas International Programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the Education for Democracy Act approved by Congress. Additional support is provided by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other sources.

For more information, please contact:

Tam Taylor or Karen Whitaker

Tel: +1-818-591-9321

For information and photos per country:

Source: Center for Civic Education