About Us

The Civic Life Project uses documentary film making to teach students valuable civic skills.  We work with college and high school students to create documentary films about civics issues of their choice.   

Over the school year our facilitators visit the classroom and lead video conferences to help students though each phase of production.  Multi-school online web conferences connect students in different school districts, as well as offer one-on-one online support.   

This project based approached to learning builds student's self confidence, fosters critical thinking, hones communication skills, enhances problem solving abilities and encourages community engagement.   It builds capacity in schools by providing teachers with resources both online and in person.  Our in-school presence through our facilitators transforms the classroom into a vibrant and engaging laboratory for civics.

 

A brief 3 minute video describing the role that CLP mentors and staff play in the classroom.

Vision

A nation where young people engage fully in our democracy and understand that change is within their power.

Mission

In a world where new technologies are reshaping our public life, the Civic Life Program uses digital media production to promote citizen engagement and cross-cultural understanding by engaging young people in their local communities on public issues. 

Need

Why is it important to engage young people now? Articles and polls continue to document college and high school students’ alienation from our democracy and our political system.  Only one in five young people under 30 showed up at the polls for this most recent midterm election.  Civic literacy is at an all-time low among students: Only 1/3 Americans can name the three branches of government and1/3 can’t name any at all.  To ensure that our democracy remains strong it is our common responsibility to educate and engage the next generation of leaders.

Approach

High school and college students work in school on documentary projects about local issues. By engaging in project based learning and connecting with their community, students develop:

• Effective listening and oral communication skills

• Creative/critical thinking and problem solving

• Ability to work in diverse groups

• Collaborative decision-making

• Ethical analysis of complex issues

• Sense of social responsibility and communal belonging

By creating a short video presented to the public, students not only understand the importance of civic issues but also recognize their own abilities to establish a position, participate in a dialog, and affect change.


Short Overview of the Civic Life Program