Being civically engaged is so much more than just exercising our right to vote. It is also about being committed to making a difference in our communities, doing good for others and helping create the conditions for a stronger, brighter future.
Our children hold the key to that future. When it comes to instilling an ethic of civic engagement, it is never too soon to help them develop the skills, values and motivation in order be able to make a difference.
Teaching children the importance of civic engagement not only enriches their education, but lays the foundation for them to succeed as informed, civic-minded adults. But there are other great benefits, too.
According to national surveys conducted by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, children who are exposed to civic participation at an early age develop the following skills:
- Stronger public speaking skills: Civic education and participation enables children to feel confident when speaking in public and expressing their opinions.
- Collaboration: Civic participation demonstrates to children the power of working in groups or as a community in order to mobilize change.
- Better appreciation for diversity: Children who learn the values of civic engagement are more likely to flourish in diverse work settings.
Evidence also suggests that youth who have civic learning opportunities are more likely to follow a positive academic trajectory, which can include staying in school and preparing for college.
When it comes to civic engagement, it is never too early to get your child involved.