Students view primary documents to explore public policy on service. They make meaning of the government role and citizen responsibility in civic action. They make a personal plan of service based on their available time, talent, and treasure.
One 45-Minute Class Period, Plus time to carry out a service project
The learner will:
Ask the students to reflect on their own about the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. Then have them turn to a partner and discuss which type of government is more likely to tolerate or encourage questioning the government's actions. Also, partners discuss which type of government is more likely to encourage participation in government policy decisions. Share the following quote from the article, “The Vital Importance of Civil Society and Private Philanthropy in Building Egypt’s Democracy.” By Steven Lawry, 2/20/2011 (Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations). “Egypt’s civil society is small, though hardly ineffective. Civil society organizations have been working bravely for decades on severe problems of poverty, human rights, and social disempowerment. Official policies toward independent social action have been consistently hostile.
“Laws governing nonprofit organizations impede the registration of organizations dedicated to charitable activity, especially where an organization’s mission is focused on matters that the government believes to be politically sensitive. This includes virtually all human rights work; most work involving community organizing for poverty alleviation; and work on reproductive rights.”
There is not one correct answer for the Exit Ticket question. Evaluate the students' responses for the quality of their thinking and how they incorporated their understanding of how government philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, and individual philanthropy complement one another.
Language Arts: Have students read an article about youth action to protect the common good when the government cannot protect it. Example: Egyptian youth protect library during 2011 protests: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/feb/01/alexandria-youth-protecting-library
Social Studies: Identify other democratic countries around the world and compare their level of philanthropy to the U.S.
Math: Compare statistics about the percentage of people who are civically engaged over the past 25 years. http://www.civicyouth.org/ and http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/role_impact/performance_research.asp#CHA_2010
Youth Voice: When students make a personal pledge of service, this is an opportunity for them to reflect on what is most meaningful to them. Their service may utilize their talents and be carried out with people they care about--their peers, younger children, or elderly people in the community.
National and Community Service Act of 1990 http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/1990_serviceact_as%20amended%20through%20pl%20111-13.pdf
Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009 http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/serveamerica/index.asp
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