HMS 8th grade students work in their U.S. History & Civics classes on the Student-Led Action Civics Project. The goal is for students to actively explore civic issues and develop their own civic identities. Students work in groups to take informed, authentic action toward a sustained change they hope to affect in their community. This project is a key component of the 2018 Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement, passed by the Massachusetts legislature and outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Education.
To assist us in this endeavor, HMS 8th graders and their social studies teachers work with an organization called Generation Citizen, which is an action-based civic education program that provides teacher professional development, teaching resources, and coaching to students as they work on their projects. We are extremely grateful to the Hingham Education Foundation (HEF) for supporting this partnership through a generous grant.
In the Generation Citizen program, students learn how our self-government works by actively engaging with their community at the local and/or state levels. Over the course of several weeks, students select an issue, research that issue and learn about systemic root causes, and then develop and implement an action plan to address the issue. It is important to note that topics for these projects are meant to be student-initiated and student-run, with the teacher serving as a mentor and facilitator. Past classes in the Generation Citizen program have lobbied for legislation, convened community meetings, and worked alongside government officials to create new programs.