Civically Engaged Districts are nurturing spaces for youth voice and engagement.
Youth researchers learn from and about people from across the school community, going beyond the classroom and familiar peer groups. They share their findings with peers, teachers and district leaders, expanding community understandings and informing school practices.
In Civically Engaged Districts, inquiry, interaction and the exchange of ideas, create an environment in which all perspectives are heard and valued.
Youth civic inquiry - also called Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), action civics and critical civic inquiry - is youth-led research on issues selected by and of concern to young people. Youth researchers choose a focus, conduct original research in their schools and communities, share what they've learned and take action.
"This is serious talk. This is something that goes on in our community."
"I feel like we're changing here right now."
"I didn't have a way to do something, and now I do."
"They listened. The people we presented to listened."
"It felt like for once our voices were actually being heard."
"We are important to our community."
"Once you introduce an issue, discussions and conversations start happening all around."
"You can make claims all the time...but the fact that we have data to back up our ideas is really important and it really helps people to reconsider."
"This can make a huge impact, not only for kids but also for our district."
"Thank you for teaching me things I didn't know."
"I thought that [a previous plan] was the solution, but I'm realizing its got to be much more than that."
"I want them to keep their voice going."
"Why can't this be the norm, and not the exception?"
"You have actually given me enough gas and energy to get through the year and propel me to next year."