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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Commonwealth Club Announces New Civics Education Field Trip Days for Bay Area Schools
SAN FRANCISCO (February 3, 2023) — Creating Citizens, The Commonwealth Club’s education initiative, today announced the launch of a new series of onsite civics education Field Trip Days for middle and high school students.
Field Trip Days bring together classes from around the Bay Area to the Club’s historic “home for ideas” on The Embarcadero for a half day of civics learning activities. During each event, students attend a Commonwealth Club speaker program featuring local, state, and national leaders, then participate in interactive dialogues with their peers and with the speakers themselves about issues raised in the program. Content draws from foundational civics topics and relates to contemporary social and cultural issues; all events model principles of effective civil dialogue and give students opportunities to put these principles into practice.
“Field Trip Days are innovative new programs that bring the power of civil dialogue to hundreds of Bay Area students, many of whom have limited access to opportunities for meaningful civic engagement,” said Dr. Lauren Silver, the Commonwealth Club’s vice president for education. “When young people participate in civic life, their voices, opinions, and actions can transform their communities and our democracy. Field Trip Days offer students the opportunities they badly need—and rarely get—to grapple with the tough issues that characterize our complex democratic system. We look forward to creating a unique educational experience for young people by leveraging The Commonwealth Club’s 120-year history of embodying democratic values of free and open discussion for the common good.”
Bringing together schools from different parts of the Bay Area will allow students with different backgrounds, views and circumstances to listen to and talk with one another. “We want students to understand that they are not too young to engage in civil dialogue. They are not too young to be civically mature,” said Griffith Swidler, school partnerships manager at The Commonwealth Club. “You’re never too young to care about your community and you’re never too young to have difficult conversations with your friends and family. These are behaviors and habits that can be, and should be, encouraged early and often.”
Three Field Trip Days will be offered every year. The first event is on February 7, with speakers Myles Bess, Marke Bieschke, and Elise Joshi. The second is on March 8, featuring keynote speaker California Secretary of State Shirley Weber.
Creating Citizens is generously supported by a grant from the Koret Foundation.
About The Commonwealth Club
The Commonwealth Club of California is the largest public issues forum in the United States and is a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization. It is the leader in its field both nationally and internationally, with a fast-paced, lively, and stimulating environment and a range of fascinating and informative people and ideas. The Club hosts daily in-person, online, and hybrid programs that include lectures, panel discussions, roundtables, and special events on issues of public concern and interest, for both engagement and enrichment. Every year, the Club produces several hundred programs with extensive content that is distributed through online video streams, podcasts, a digital magazine, and a weekly national radio broadcast that airs on more than 230 public and commercial stations and other platforms. For more information, visit https://www.commonwealthclub.org
About Creating Citizens
Creating Citizens is The Commonwealth Club’s civics education initiative. Building on foundational values of free speech, respectful discourse, and a spirit of collaborative progress for the common good, the vision of Creating Citizens is that all students will have the motivation and support they need to participate effectively in the democratic process. Programs and activities give young people and educators direct access to civic leaders, thinkers, and decision makers, and make use of the Club’s nationally recognized platform to amplify diverse voices and offer a safe space for youth to cultivate the skills and characteristics necessary for informed citizenship. For more information about Creating Citizens, visit https://www.commonwealthclub.org/education