This post was written by our summer intern Teresa Kroeger. She is a senior at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee held a meeting to discuss ensuring judicial independence through civics education. In addition to six U.S. senators, the meeting featured former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Sen. Leahy began the meeting by asking all the students in the room to stand. About half of the room rose to their feet. It is great to see students of all ages engaged in civics education and learning about the government. Many students in attendance were even from local Boys and Girls Clubs.
The large turnout was due to the presence of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. O’Connor made history as the first female Supreme Court Justice and remains active in government issues today. She discussed the importance of young people learning about our system of governance and how they can participate in it.
O’Connor promoted her website, iCivics, which provides civics education to students across the country. The website features educational games for students and free programs for teachers to implement in schools. It even features curriculum tailored to Boys and Girls Clubs of America, which can be applied to afterschool programs all across the country. The fun and engaging games teach about immigration, rights, freedom of speech, and much more. There are plenty of games to choose from and they are all free! Students in every state play iCivics games and have shown positive results. Click here to learn more about iCivics and how you can incorporate it into your afterschool program.