The Student Opportunity Act was unanimously passed on October of 2019 by the Massachusetts State Senate and the House of Representatives to increase the funding for k-12 by $1.5 billion over inflation by 2027. On November 26th, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, signed this Education Funding Bill. To learn more, please visit the Massachusetts Teacher’s Association’s Fund Our Future Campaign by clicking on ‘Learn More”.
In order to promote justice within low-income communities, starting in our hometown of Massachusetts, we have embarked on a new initiative called The Civic Engagement Fair, which will take place at the Massachusetts State House in June of 2020. Please go to our “Events” page for more information on our meetings and events.
The Civic Engagement Fair (CEF) is an initiative by Global Deeds Foundation that aims at educating 8th to 12th grade students on how to become civically engaged within their communities and how to advocate for progress in strategic ways.
In order to better understand the magnitude of the problem of lack of civic education and engagement nation-wide, it is worth mentioning that it is not a problem that could only be found within k-12 schools. In fact, “the 2016 ACTA report found that of more than 1,100 liberal arts colleges and universities surveyed, only 18 percent required students to take a course in American history or government” (Source). Unfortunately, civically illiterate students are graduating from high school and college. The “domino-effect” that such level of illiteracy is having in our society is immeasurable. However, by tackling specific issues affecting each district that was chosen to attend, we can start to truly resolve highly significant problems that expand beyond the boundaries of these areas. To bring students to learn at the center of public administration, the Massachusetts State House, represents answering one fundamental question about civic engagement: where are policy decisions being made, why, how and by whom? We need to connect the dots for students who lack access to information and opportunities for educational, personal and professional growth. The Civic Engagement Fair will be a step towards a much more solid tradition of community advancement and societal change.
The Civic Engagement Fair is an initiative in collaboration with the Commonwealth Seminar, Year Up, The Lawrence Dream Network, CPLAN, The Attorney General’s Office, The Office of Economic Empowerment, and a series of other nonprofits, government agencies, educational institutions, corporations and elected officials. The effort is starting in the state of Massachusetts to then branch out to other states.
In Massachusetts, the following districts have been chosen based on their socio-economic needs:
4. East Boston
10. Fall River
11. New Bedford
Our goal is for all participating middle/high schools to conduct their own Civic Engagement Fairs/Activities. Upon conducting such fair and after school activities, we would ask of them to publish their impact reports online. Below are examples of specific metrics to be used as a way to evaluate their progress:
A custom-made metrics system will be published on our website. Such system will record the progress of student projects and the final results for each. Additionally, through the CEF Community/School Meetings that will take place over the summer and after school, we will collect the following information:
–Number of attendees
-List of SDG projects students are already working on or planning to start
-Estimate number of individuals to engage in future planned activities
-List of student leaders, chaperones and administrators per school
The CEF is an effort to provide modern and accessible civic education to students, train them on how to conduct sustainable activities in support of their schools and communities, and evaluate their work online and on-site. We can only know if we are progressing when we are able to measure results. The support of politicians, teachers, corporations, students, administrators and parents in particular, is imperative for conducting the CEF and for general societal advancement. Special focus will be made on the Sustainable Development Goals #4 and #1 for the competition of year 2020.