Linking Community, Core Democratic Values and Public Policy Issues

9, 10, 11, 12

To organize data gathered about the United Way and share the information they have gathered in both oral and written form.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Fifty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • explain three fundamental beliefs of American Democracy: common good, justice and equality.
  • identify public policy issues and link them to core democratic values.
  • develop a comprehensive outline about the United Way.
  • World Book Encyclopedia, s.v. "United Way."
  • Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy (see Attachment One)
  • Research the Web-site:
  • Pamphlet on your state and local United Way (contact your local United Way or United Way of Michigan)
  • World Book Encyclopedia, s.v. "United Way."
  • On the Internet,
  • United Way Pamphlet of Jackson County (or your specific county or state).
  • Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy (see Attachment One).
  • Bahmueller, Charles F., ed. Civitas: A Framework for Civic Education, National Council for the Social Studies Bulletin, No. 86, Calabasas, CA, 1991.


  1. Anticipatory Set:Ask the students to respond orally or in their daily journal to this question, "Can the United Way and its local or state member agencies help the community address Core Democratic Values?"

  2. Distribute Core Values of American Constitutional Democracy (see Attachment One) and guide discussion of three Fundamental Beliefs: Common Good, Justice and Equality.

  3. Write Public Policy issues on the board and ask students to suggest those they deem most pressing. Use inquiry method to ensure that students can link the issues to core values.

  4. Form students into the same groups that researched United Way and direct them to develop a sentence outline that organizes their research. Their outline should include how the organization was founded, and when the state and local organizations began. Additionally, they should select and list three important events in the history of both the national and state or local organizations. See the Chronology of Events Affecting United Way: 1887 - 1995 on the Web site to choose these events.

  5. Using their group's outline, each student will begin to write a one- to two-page description of the United Way and how its services address the common good, justice or equality.


Group outline and information. Students' written description of the United Way and its links to a core democratic value and public policy issue.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 03. Names and Types of Organizations within the Civil Society Sector
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Provide an example of an organization (or a service that it contributes) from a list of categories of civil society organizations.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.6 Give examples of civil society sector organizations implementing fundamental democratic principles throughout history.