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Citizen University

Citizen University is building a culture of powerful, responsible citizenship across the country. We envision a great civic revival across our nation — our dream is a country in which Americans are steeped in a sense of civic character, educated in the tools of civic power, and are problem-solving contributors in a self-governing community.

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National Civic Saturday – Oklahoma City

Organizer: Citizen University

Citizen University is taking Civic Saturday on the road! Civic Saturday is a gathering of friends and strangers in a common place to nurture a spirit of shared purpose. At the gathering we reflect and connect around the values and practices of being an active citizen, reckon with and reflect on our nation's creed, and build civic fellowship to create new civic traditions that are joyful and communal. In partnership with Mayor David Holt, Let's Fix This, and Generation Citizen.

Location: Oklahoma City, OK

Civic Saturday: Seattle

Organizer: Citizen University

Civic Saturday is a gathering of friends and strangers in a common place to nurture a spirit of shared purpose. At the gathering we reflect and connect around the values and practices of being an active citizen, reckon with and reflect on our nation's creed, and build civic fellowship to create new civic traditions that are joyful and communal.

Location: Impact Hub Seattle, 220 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

Civic Saturday: Seattle

Organizer: Citizen University

Civic Saturday is a gathering of friends and strangers in a common place to nurture a spirit of shared purpose. At the gathering we reflect and connect around the values and practices of being an active citizen, reckon with and reflect on our nation's creed, and build civic fellowship to create new civic traditions that are joyful and communal.

Location: Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

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The Civic Circle's seven steps are as relevant to adults as to kids, and also to the movement to revive democracy, writes Carney.

What a new civics course for kids can teach adults about bettering democracy

Carney is founder of The Civic Circle, a civics education nonprofit, and writes the Democracy Rules column for The American Prospect.

Civic education is back, and not for the first time. In recent decades, policy makers, educators and democracy advocates have launched one initiative after another with promises to finally make American government relevant and compelling to students.

Mostly, these have failed. We've had commissions, studies, federal funding. We've had debates over whether kids should learn the three branches of government and the Bill of Rights, or learn how to mobilize for equity and social justice. Nothing, it seems, has worked. Adults and kids alike remain appallingly ignorant of the most basic facts about American democracy, from which rights the First Amendment protects to the three branches of government.

Part of the problem is that textbooks and curriculum materials tend to overemphasize things like the granular details of the War of 1812, while ignoring more compelling questions like: What is democracy? How can you make it work for you? Existing civic instruction also tends to focus almost exclusively on middle and upper schoolers. This misses a key window during elementary school, when kids are forming their views of what's fair, where they fit in and what it takes to get along with others.

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