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For Youth

 The Maine Citizenship Education Task Force’s Youth Voice and Leadership Subcommittee’s hope is that by exploring this website you will experience the power and importance of meaningful youth voice, learn how your voice can be heard, find resources to help advance your ideas, and see that citizenship education is fun, informative, and necessary. Get more information about how to become involved in the group and learn more about the role of young people on the Task Force.

Citizenship Education? What is that?

How about calling it the Maine Task Force on:

SOCIAL CHANGE? Social Education? Advocacy? COMMUNITY involvement? GETTING THINGS DONE? HELPING OTHERS HELP THEMSELVES? SERVICE? Volunteering? POLITICAL ACTIVISM? leadership? voting? VOTE OR DIE? BEING ACTIVE IN GOVERNMENT? Raising Your Voice? GETting involved? KNOWing about your government? BOYCOTTING? Donating to charities? Going to Community Meetings? Working on political campaigns? Writing to representatives? WRITING TO NEWSPAPERS? Encouraging others to get involved?

 What is Civic Engagement? A working definition from a student perspective

There is certainly not consensus on this definition.  Nevertheless, we propose it as a talking point and a step to help clarify the meaning.

  • Engagement is more than 'just volunteering' - though volunteering can be engagement.
  • Engagement is more than 'just voting' - though voting can be engagement.
  • Engagement is a combination of Voice, Action and Reflection.
  • Engagement exists when individuals realize that they have responsibilities not only to themselves or their families, but to their communities - local, national and global. They recognize that the health and wellbeing of those communities is essential to their own health and wellbeing. They act in order to fulfill those responsibilities and try to impact those communities for the better. And in turn, those actions give them an even deeper understanding of the interdependence of themselves and their communities.

From the soon to be published Raise Your Voice Lessons Learned Publication through Campus Compact By Tara Germond, Ellen Love, Liz Moran, Stephanie Raill, Sherita Moses

What can I actually do and find in this For Youth section anyway?

Well, thanks for asking. The answer is, LOTS!

  • Visit the Youth Speakup Public Discussion Forum to connect with other young people. Participate in ongoing discussions, share your opinions, and learn what others have to say about issues relating to civic engagement, volunteering, citizenship education, voting, political activism, and anything else you want! Post now and post often!
  • Unsure if you're civically engaged? Need some ideas for getting started or keeping up the good work? Check out our Tips For Getting Involved to find out ways and resources to educate yourself, express yourself, be environmentally conscious, volunteer, and much more!
  • Look at international, national, and Maine based civic organizations and youth initiatives under Resource Links. Also browse links by issues important to and chosen by young people: affordable higher education, alcohol/drugs, health, human rights, hunger, and prejudice/diversity.
  • Learn about the Maine Legislative Youth Advisory Council, an innovative group of young people from around the state that is listening to what other young people in Maine are concerned about and that has the power to submit legislation.
  • Beginning with the 2006 primaries, eligible 17 year-olds will be able to vote in Maine. Find out more under Youth Voting Campaign!
  • Read about a 2005 study on Student Representation on Maine School Boards.
  • Explore Articles, Documents, and Tools that can help you clarify things like questions about the Maine Learning Results; put your ideas into practice with toolkits on facilitating community dialogues and youth-adult partnerships; gain information and insights through an online civic engagement journal; and share information with handouts like "Hallmarks of an Engaged Citizen," among many other things!
Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools: Education for Democracy