photo credit: Skye Kinkade, Mt Shasta News

During the Summer of 2019, the Northern California Writing Project offered Siskiyou Students Write, an eight day writing camp that provided Siskiyou County students with the opportunity to identify local community issues, research identified issues, develop a plan or call to action to address the issue, write an Op-Ed and publish in the local newspapers.  This was an amazing experience for students, teachers, and community members. While the Silver Giving grant that sponsored the program has expired, we took what we learned from the summer camp experience and designed an instructional resource that can be used by individual teachers, schools, and districts. Our goal is to capture the best instructional practices and learning from the Siskiyou Students Write Camp and inspire civic engagement by youth in their schools and communities.

The Civic Engagement for Youth Instructional Program is a rigorous, adaptable, and standards-based curricular resource intentionally designed to address the varied needs of students, teachers, schools and/or districts such as, chronic absenteeism, low test scores, failed classes, school apathy, school/community relations, and teacher professional development.  This instructional resource combines the best practices from the National Writing Project’s College, Career and Community Writers Program with lessons learned from the Siskiyou Students Write Camp to ensure students are engaged, challenged, and empowered.  

How can students benefit from Civic Engagement for Youth?

  • Offers an engaging, meaningful curriculum.
  • Provides a safe learning environment.
  • Fosters positive relationships with students and teachers.
  • Offers student-specific intervention strategies to promote success.
  • Creates a realistic pathway to academic success.

How can teachers benefit from Civic Engagement for Youth?

  • Access to engaging, standards-based curriculum.
  • Professional development tailored to meet individual teacher needs.
  • Instructional strategies and resources designed to promote success on state-mandated tests.
  • Co-planning and co-teaching support from experienced, credentialed teachers.
  • A teaching environment conducive to one-on-one and small group student/teacher interaction.

How can schools/districts benefit from Civic Engagement for Youth?

  • Increased student engagement, especially for at risk students.
  • Local teacher professional development aligned to state standards.
  • A credit recovery option for students in academic jeopardy.
  • Transitional support for incoming 9th grade students.
  • Positive relationships with community businesses and individuals.
  • Improved school culture.

How can communities benefit from Civic Engagement for Youth?

  • Community issues addressed in a relevant and meaningful way.
  • Local youth working to impact the community in a positive way.
  • Connections between community members and local youth that will last far beyond the program.
  • Short and long-term investment in the local community.

The full curriculum is available, with daily plans, links to readings, resources, and connections to standards in the links below:

Many thanks to Silver Giving Foundation for their support of youth and civic engagement!