The McCormick Foundation Civics Program supports initiatives that help build the foundation of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences that lead to lifelong civic participation. Our funding targets youth ages 12 to 22 in the Chicago region.
Civics Program grant-making focuses on four areas: youth civic education; youth civic engagement; professional development and training for educators; and related policy and advocacy initiatives.
Civics Program grants in this category aim to improve civic knowledge, skills, and attitudes through classroom-based programs and curriculum.
Specifically, we support:
- Interactive learning opportunities that combine formal curriculum with simulations of democratic structures and processes
- Service-learning programs
- Middle school, high school and university level curriculum that focuses on U.S. government, history, law and democracy
- Programs that provide opportunities for youth to engage in classroom discussions on political, social and policy issues that affect their communities
- Programs that engage youth in structured conversations about controversial issues
The Civics Program grants in this category support initiatives that help youth develop lifelong civic habits and provide meaningful opportunities for them to become positive change agents in their communities.
Specifically, we fund:
- Youth initiated, organized and executed community service projects combined with civic reflection
- Youth initiated policy change efforts
- Programs that create opportunities for authentic student voice in school governance
- Programs that encourage youth to become active participants in all aspects of civic life
- Programs that place youth in leadership positions in their communities and give them the chance to interact with elected officials or community leaders
Professional Development and Training
Civics Program grants in this category support programs that provide educators with the knowledge, capacity and efficacy necessary to develop or implement high quality, relevant and engaging civics coursework and activities.
Specifically, we fund:
- Professional development opportunities for middle school, high school and college teachers
- Training for middle and high school teachers on how to integrate civics education into their coursework
- Pre-service training for future middle and high school social studies and civics teachers
The Civics Program funds advocacy efforts that aim to change civic education policy and strengthen the civic education system in our local school districts.