Education Initiative Promoting Civic Literacy and Engagement

As the nation’s record keeper and home of the founding documents of the United States, the National Archives is uniquely positioned to promote civic literacy and engagement. By studying examples of civic engagement in the past, students will better understand their rights and responsibilities and be prepared to participate in their communities in the present.

Civics for All of Us engages students with primary sources from the National Archives that shed light on the successes, failures, debates, and challenges in the history of American democracy. The thought-provoking educational resources share diverse perspectives and historically underrepresented voices.

The resources are delivered to teachers and students regardless of their proximity to the national facility. Each program is led by one of the educators located at the National Archives, the Center for Legislative Archives, and Presidential Libraries across the country. Current offerings include student programs, student webinars, and teacher workshops.

Live, interactive distance-learning programs are available for groups of 10 or more students free of charge. The programs take a hands-on approach to the founding documents of the United States, using the holdings of the National Archives to explore the big ideas of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights and promoting the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the twenty-first century. Teacher guides for each program provide additional pre- and post-program activities for classroom use. Registration is open through May.

By-request programs are also offered as regularly scheduled interactive seminars. Registration is required but unlike the by-request distance learning programs, no minimum attendance is prerequisite for student webinars. The schedule for upcoming webinars is posted online.

Free, regularly scheduled professional development workshops for educators explore how to use primary sources to delve into the big ideas of the founding documents of the United States. Civics for All of Us teacher workshops are also available by request for groups of 10 or more educators. Check the website for topics and schedules of upcoming virtual workshops.

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