NYC Jumps Into Its Sixth Annual Civics Week With A Bang

March 11, 2024

NYC Public Schools (NYCPS) and DemocracyNYC today kicked off the sixth annual Civics Week, including the 2024 Student Voter Registration Drive.

A celebration of youth voice and civic empowerment, at PS K721, the Brooklyn Occupational Training Center. Schools Chancellor David C. Banks and Chief Democracy Officer Kathleen Daniel gave opening remarks and spoke with students about the importance of civic engagement.

Throughout the week, students in all grades across the city will be visited by elected officials and will participate in classroom activities and events designed to empower them to create change as active participants in their community. High Schoolers across the City will pre-register and register to vote, adding to the total of 90,000 new voters registered through Civics Week since these efforts began.

This year is also a celebration of the expansion of the Civics for All Partner District program, with a total of 22 districts opting in to bring Civics for All programming to their schools. Civics for All is a multifaceted initiative designed to narrow the Civic Empowerment Gap and provide equitable civic learning experiences for all NYC students. These opportunities include participation in public speaking programs, events that strengthen student voice and build school community, and voter registration drives. 

“Now, perhaps more than ever, we must ensure our students engage with the issues of the day responsibly,” said Schools Chancellor David C. Banks. “To change the world, you must first learn to think critically and engage in public discourse, and the expansion of the Civics for All program opens the doors for thousands more students to gain these invaluable skills. Civics for All is an essential resource for our educators as they nurture the next generation of leaders.”   

“Teaching our students how to participate in democracy and exercise one of their most sacred rights by voting is critical to create a culture of engagement and empowerment in our City,” said Chief Democracy Officer Kathleen Daniel. “When young people vote, the whole world hears their voice, and changes to meet their needs. I am so proud of be a part of Civics Week and building a community of leaders among our youth.”

The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit (PEU), the Civic Engagement Commission, and DemocracyNYC are supporting these efforts by hosting voter registration drives in 15 schools. Additional voter registration drives are being coordinated by student ambassadors and teachers in over 185 high schools. 

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Since its inception in 2019, over 90,000 New York City students have registered to vote during Civics Week. Additional voter registration drives are being coordinated by student ambassadors and teachers in 185 high schools. This year, students will be registered through PEU, teacher, and student ambassador efforts.  

For students in kindergarten through eighth grade, schools will utilize resources from the Civics for All initiative of NYCPS to help students build their civic knowledge and hone their civic engagement skills.  

Photo credit: David Banks.

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