Teaching Citizenship in Elementary School Program (TCESP) is a plug-in to the Social Studies K-5 curriculum. We believe the Program is vital because:
· Americans need a broader view of citizenship,
· The lack of citizen involvement in our nation is a quiet epidemic, and
· Our country needs an organization that studies and supports effective citizenship so that it can be taught in school and at home.
Below, we consider each of these reasons more closely.
Americans need a broader view of citizenship
Our view of citizenship has become skewed. We look more at our rights than our responsibilities. When individuals or special interest groups want something, they claim it is their right. And, we expect the government to take on what should be our responsibilities.
The Declaration of Independence promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. We have become more interested in our “pursuit of happiness” than keeping our country safe (“life”) and free (“liberty”). We have forgotten that if we do not fulfill our responsibilities, we will have no rights.
Most Americans see citizenship as voting, jury duty and occasional community service. Keeping democracy strong demands much more. We as citizens must be vigilant and involved. We must each make small sacrifices every day by doing simple, yet powerful citizen actions.
“Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but rather the
tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”
The lack of citizen involvement in our nation is a quiet epidemic
Increasingly, we are not living up to our responsibilities as citizens.
· Voting is one of our most important and visible responsibilities as citizens. Yet, fewer than 45% of registered voters and 35% of eligible voters usually vote.
· Most Americans try to get out of jury duty.
· Community service is often seen as a once or twice a year activity
Our lack of involvement is widespread. Everyday we hear of government, media, school, judicial, or business actions (or inactions) that cause us concern. But we do nothing about them. Special interest groups now run the show — our silence is turning us into a SIGocracy.
Each nation faces economic, social, security, environmental, educational, legal, and health challenges. But solutions to these challenges are more effective if a greater number of citizens become effectively involved.
Too many good people do nothing.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
Our country lacks an organization dedicated exclusively to studying, supporting and promoting citizenship
We do not know of any organizations, books, or other resources about the responsibilities of citizenship. And, we have been looking for fifteen years!
The most effective way to get Americans to become good citizens is to teach them how as children. We must teach our children:
· The importance of being involved citizens
· The positive impact of small citizen actions.
· That specific citizen actions will keep our country strong.
Both parents and school systems confuse good character and being a good person with being a good citizen. They aren’t the same. Elementary schools teach children about patriotic topics and figures, like Native Americans, voting, the Constitution, Martin Luther King Jr. and Presidents Day. Parents teach their children about character and how to be responsible individuals. But neither teaches children how to be effective citizens. Most people have never learned how.
There is no more important lesson that parents and our schools should be teaching our children.
The future of our country ultimately depends on our involvement as citizens.
We believe that small groups like ours can get big things done. We are passionate about the need for Americans to be more involved citizens and we have the requisite expertise in education, curriculum development and materials distribution to convert this dream to reality.
Nick Homer, Good Citizen’s Executive Director, will lead this effort. Using our successful web book Who Will Love America? as a platform, we will work with the Social Studies Coordinator for the [XYZ] Unified School District to identify teachers from grades K-2 to pilot the initial phase of the curriculum. We will also partner with readability, education and web traffic and e-publishing experts to make sure our curriculum is easy to use, read and access.
Nick Homer holds a Math degree from Duke and a Master’s degree and PhD course work completion in Computer and Information Science from the University of Pennsylvania. 33 years of experience as a management consultant, including Arthur Andersen, partner with Price Waterhouse and co-founder of The Information Technology Group. Consultant to non-profit and higher education organizations. Tutor of Spanish and math to children and young adults and teacher of technology and business classes at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Phoenix. Author of the web book Who Will Love America?
Maria Mindlin holds a graduate degree from the University of California, Davis in Education, with an emphasis in Language Acquisition and expertise in Reading Theory. She is the CEO of Transcend, a California-based language services company that assists the public sector, schools and non-profits in developing highly readable and usable materials.
Rosalinda Quintanar is a professor of Bilingual Education at San Jose State University and visiting scholar at Stanford University. She holds a doctoral degree from Stanford from the Education Department in Language, Literacy and Culture and is a consultant to the California Department of Education and school districts throughout the state.
Pixelloom is a California-based web design and development firm with expertise in working with non-profits and designing user-centric, multi-media web sites.
Tasks & Schedule for Phase 1 of TCESP
Program Budget and Narrative