To teach students about the importance of civic engagement in their communities, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced the launch of “Civics in the Classroom” at Bayside High School on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Richards and Bayside High School Principal Tracy Martinez hosted a discussion with hundreds of students about the importance of voting, being involved in one’s community and much more.
The Civics in the Classroom initiative supplements existing curriculum by connecting with high school students across the borough about civic engagement.
Richards says he hopes to not only educate students about civic engagement, but also empower them to be the change-makers the city and country needs.
“The youngest among us are courageously leading nationwide movements around systemic discrimination, gun violence, voting rights, climate change and more, giving us all so much hope for the future of our society,” Richards said. “But there are still far too many young people who are unaware of their power or unsure of their place in our city.”
The initiative is led by Richards’ Civic Engagement Coordinator Tim Chubinidze.
Civics in the Classroom will visit one Queens high school each week and include interactive presentations and quizzes about the roles of local and citywide elected officials’ offices, how to address quality-of-life issues through city government and the significance of civic involvement. The initiative will continue after NYC schools’ Thanksgiving recess.
Meanwhile, Richards’ Civic Engagement Committee, made up of dozens of community stakeholders, has been active throughout the year.
On behalf of the borough president, the committee has sponsored various public-facing events such as three separate ranked-choice voting training sessions this spring and a virtual redistricting town hall this fall, as well as regular tabling appearances across Queens to meet with borough residents in their own communities.
School administrators who would like more information or wish to participate in the borough president’s Civics in the Classroom initiative can contact Chubunidze via firstname.lastname@example.org.