Featured: Every Student A Citizen

May 13, 2013

Seattle: A Model for Civics Education

By Brady Delander

It is difficult to take these ideas—big or small—from a concept floating around in your head to actual reality. That requires a certain level of fearlessness, tenacity, and commitment. Which is what makes the Civics for All Initiative so remarkable and exciting.

Conceived in 2011 by Web Hutchins and students in his 11th-grade U.S. history class at Franklin High School in Seattle, Civics for All does not hedge any bets. Far from it. There’s a reason Hutch, as he’s known, was named Washington’s civics educator of the year. Just take a look at a portion of the initiative’s vision:

  • For students: All Seattle K-12 students will become experts in democratic citizenship
  • For schools: All schools will become hotbeds of civic knowledge, awareness, and engagement
  • For the city: Seattle’s civic culture (government, NGOs, non-profits, for-profits, etc.) will spark with adolescent enthusiasm, energy, and idealism.

Talk about swinging for the fences. And it doesn’t stop there. The initiative’s overarching goal is to turn Seattle and Seattle Public Schools into the civics education model for the entire nation. To get to that point, Civics for All proposes that civics lessons and awareness is incorporated into all grades K-12 across all disciplines.