For September 15, 2006: It's election season and a time for civics lessons. Are you aware of the Committee for Citizen Awareness, a non-partisan organization established in 1985 to promote democracy, citizenship, and voting? The CCA produces and distributes a series of educational civics videotapes, with titles including The U.S. Congress and You, Your Court System and You, The Executive Branch and You, We the People…The U.S. Constitution and You, Patriotism and You, and Where We Stand. They are narrated by such well-known figures as Caroline Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and former Secretary of Education Richard Riley.
But there's more to it than that. The shows, which are available free, can be customized and localized for relevance and impact. From the CCA Web site:
These videotapes, which are custom-made for each congressional district, feature over 350 current members of Congress and hundreds of business and community leaders.
Each videotape, regardless of the subject, features a representative of one local host organization. In the majority of cases, the member of Congress who represents the area in which the tape is being shown, also appears. These two appearances help audiences feel more of a local connection to national civic issues, which can seem remote. If you would like, the CCA will attempt to find a day and a time on the busy schedule of your member of Congress when you and your member can both videotape your segments.
On the Web site are excerpts from each show that can be streamed as a "preview." Each video clip is accompanied by a synopsis, viewer feedback, and a list of sponsors. The CCA will send a copy of the videotapes with explanatory materials to each of the following organizations within the congressional district being sponsored: every public and private high school, every community and junior college, the major public libraries, the major chambers of commerce, and the cable television facilities within the sponsored district.
Check to see if you fall under one of these categories. You can contact the Committee for Citizen Awareness at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fly over to CyberBee http://www.cyberbee.com for more great Web sites, lessons, and activities to use with students.