SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is encouraging middle school teachers to apply for the National Association of State Boards of Education's (NASBE) Civic Engagement Champions Award. NASBE chose Illinois as one of four states to participate in the inaugural year of the honor. NASBE will award one Illinois middle school teacher $5,000 and recognize the winner at the organization's annual conference in October.
The Civic Engagement Champions Award is open to all middle school teachers in any discipline. Applicants are asked describe how they help students become active and responsible members of their communities.
"I am amazed and inspired by the civic engagement and activism I see from Illinois students," said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. "Our teachers are showing students how to express their views, listen to others, and change the world around them. I am excited to support this new award that will recognize the role of teachers in supporting the future leaders of our democracy."
Examples of educational activities that promote civic engagement range from service learning and activism, to instruction in media literacy, to participation in school governance, and to discussion of world and local events.
"Middle school teachers play a special role in shaping students' early attitudes toward civic engagement," said ISBE Chairman Darren Reisberg. "Teachers empower students to become active participants in, and have a positive impact on, their broader communities. I am proud that Illinois has the opportunity to partner with NASBE to demonstrate support for all of our educators who prioritize civic participation and to honor one outstanding Civic Engagement Champion."
"The future of our democracy depends on our students and on the teachers who inspire them," Reisberg said.
Find the award application and more information at www.nasbe.org/project/civic-engagement-champions. Applications are due by June 10.