Students need to understand how their governments and communities work, and how and why they can aspire to make a difference. Current events, education trends, and learning opportunity gaps make that task more difficult - and more important than ever.
They - and you - should care. Today's students will become the leaders of our schools, communities, businesses, and nation. What and how they learn NOW matters.
From a child’s first vote to a youth’s first community leadership role and beyond, GenerationNation educates and engages a new generation of citizens and leaders.
GenerationNation reaches thousands of students annually through smart, fun programs that connect classroom learning with hands-on experiences to build civic literacy and leadership from an early age and narrow learning opportunity gaps.
GenerationNation's learning opportunities include educational sessions, dialogues, service-learning, field trips, and other hands-on experiences. Students regularly interact with public officials and civic leaders, engage in local government, learn about and apply knowledge to solve community issues, and meet and collaborate with youth from other schools and backgrounds.
Through GenerationNation, Charlotte’s students learn how the community works, understand key issues and different perspectives, know how to analyze and use news and information, develop and apply habits for active citizenship including informed voting in every election, and serve the community in volunteer and leadership roles.
Children explore local government, current events, community history, and the ways that citizens can make a difference. They practice reading and analyzing information and how to use it make decisions - including which candidates to support as they take their first votes in GenerationNation’s annual mock election.
When students reach high school, they continue to learn, think, decide, and take action throughout the year. Youth explore Charlotte-Mecklenburg government, history, issues, and community leadership; experience elections and democracy through service-learning and voting; begin to build civic leadership and awareness through Youth Lead Charlotte-Mecklenburg; and, serve as community leaders on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council.
Nearly 1 million Charlotte-Mecklenburg students have built and applied civic knowledge and skills through GenerationNation programs. Launched in 1992 as a mock election event called Kids Voting, over the past 5 years Charlotte nonprofit GenerationNation has worked with community partners to begin to expand programming and deepen student civic impact 365 days a year. The first phase of GenerationNation's expanded work has targeted high school students.
Future strategies will expand opportunities for K-8 students, program alumni, and teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and expand programming in other cities.
GenerationNation directly engages students in hands-on experiences to narrow learning opportunity gaps and build civic literacy and leadership knowledge, interests, and skills.
Learning opportunities enable students to interact with and discuss issues with community leaders, learn about and apply knowledge to solve community issues, and meet and collaborate with youth from other schools and backgrounds, while building skills and knowledge for college, career, and civic life. Students increase knowledge and interests about government, civic issues, public policy, news/current events, voting, and volunteering, and skills and behaviors such as leadership, decision-making, collaboration, analysis, communications, public speaking, confidence, and more.
In the classroom, GenerationNation helps K-12 teachers to easily and effectively integrate civic literacy across the curriculum.
Compared with peers, GenerationNation participants are more likely to demonstrate civic leadership, civic engagement, and civic/news literacy as they move into college, career, and civic life. Compared with data from CIRCLE, Pew Research, and NC Civic Index.
We’re educating students and building leaders – and there’s still work to be done. Mentor a student. Connect your school or organization. Join a youth program. Volunteer. Contribute.