4 Civic Engagement Opportunities for Students

Darri Stephens
February 5, 2021

Civic action, civic engagement, citizenship … did you know that the early days of America’s public schools were primarily focused on how to turn our youngsters into “good” citizens when they grew up? And while we all have academic ideals and standards for our kids, more and more emphasis is being put on the schools’ role in teaching social and emotional learning (SEL).

Definition courtesy of SEL thought leader, CASEL.org

This past year has given us a lot to think about — Given the recent activity around our election and the ensuing protests, we want to make sure that kids have a healthy sense of self, coupled with empathy and respect for others. And we want all ages to know that they have a voice, and that that voice is a powerful tool.

Treedom.co provides schools, educators, and students with a dynamic platform to discover, explore, and participate in service learning opportunities — for both in person and virtual events. Treedom’s app gives students the autonomy to easily find meaningful opportunities that speak to their individual interests (and their schedules!), while suggesting a host of others posted by public and private sectors that they might not have considered before. From petitions to one-time events to ongoing efforts, Treedom suggests opportunities emphasizing social responsibility and social good. Plus, the platform provides kids a way to record, reflect, and share their experiences with one another. Treedom also aggregates student participation via an impact dashboard, giving educators an easy way to track their students’ activities and read the personal reflections.

Treedom strives to celebrate and promote the young, individual voices that make up our next generation. Take a look at a sampling of ways that Treedom currently provides for your students to get involved, participate, and lend a voice and hand in service learning:

The 21-day challenge is designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege, and leadership. Starting on the 18th of January, the YWCA will be giving you daily challenges that include activities such as reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. Participation in an activity like this helps us to discover how racial injustice and social injustice impact our community, to connect with one another, and to identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.

Your job is to write a letter to Joe Biden or Kamala Harris about the hopes and dreams you have for this new year and how this new administration can create policies to execute on them. Focus on different areas of interest and what specific reforms you’d like to see put in place (for example — forgiveness for small businesses, forgiveness of student loans, specific environmental or COVID-relief ideas you might have). When you are done, mail the letter to the address listed in the Requirements.

Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) is a non-profit organization that provides free age-appropriate LGBTQ-inclusive books to classrooms from Pre-K to third grade. They raise money to provide these books through individual donations, and they would love your help to fundraise for their organization.

Nurses have been on the frontline of the pandemic all year, treating patients with respect, kindness, and empathy. Offering gratitude and thanks to all of our nurses nationwide who are continuing to give selflessly is the least we can do to show support and encouragement throughout this holiday season.

Do take a moment to explore all the opportunities on Treedom — learn more at Treedom.co.