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Mills College Receives Grant to Boost Digital Media Literacy and Civic Engagement in Oakland High Schools

Oakland, CA–April 18, 2012 A recent Gallup poll reported 86 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with Congress. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that less than one in four eligible voters aged 18–24 voted in the 2010 mid-term elections. In addition, 58 percent of young people aged 15–25 were judged “disengaged” from the political process. Yet, research suggests that when youth are given the opportunity to learn about the function of government, they demonstrate a much greater capacity for civic and political participation.

The Mills College School of Education is proud to announce it has been awarded grant funding for a new initiative developed to better prepare and motivate youth to engage in the democratic process. In partnership with the National Writing Project and the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) history and social studies department, the grant will support improved digital media literacy and civic engagement across all OUSD high schools.

The goal of the initiative is to leverage web 2.0 tools and best practices in civic education that will enable students to apply the skills they learn in the classroom to important issues they face in their communities and to effectively engage in civic and political life. Working with teachers, the program will create a cutting-edge model of successful urban civic education that can be replicated district-wide. It is part of an ongoing effort by the Mills College School of Education to build a deep and sustainable relationship with the Oakland Unified School District.

Professor Joseph Kahne and Ellen Middaugh, research director of the Civic Engagement Research Group of Mills College, will serve as co-principal investigators for the project. The project is funded by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation.


Last Updated: 4/18/12