Existing Programs, Curriculum, and Lessons


  • 4H/VA Cooperative Extension: 4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H's "learning by doing" philosophy of youth development. 4-H and the VA Cooperative Extension partner with afterschool programs by infusing curricula and training staff and volunteers of afterschool programs. Programs available vary by county and educational region, thus sites should contact their local 4-H office. Where programs are available, 4-H/VA Cooperative Extension offers curriculum in areas of Citizenship.  (citizenship, civics)
  • Future Problem Solvers: In this international program, students develop and use critical thinking skills to create solutions to global or community issues through problem-solving and scenario writing and presentation. Available to students in elementary through high school in both competitive and non-competitive forms.  (civics, current events, competition, elementary school, middle school, high school)
  • Storycorps: The Great Thanksgiving Listen: StoryCorps is a national project that aims to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people. Participants are everyday people that interview one another to tell a human story. StoryCorps can be heard on their website, as well as on National Public Radio (NPR). The recordings are archived at the Library of Congress. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is a project from StoryCorps, in which high school students record an interview with a grandparent or another elder using a free app. Additionally, there is an educator toolkit with instructions for helping students and guidelines that can be adapted to lessons. (History, storytelling, project-based learning, high school)
  • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution: Developed by The Center for Civic Education, a non-profit, nonpartisan education organization that administers national and international civic education programs, We the People provides upper elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative learning in history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy. Students also participate in a simulated congressional hearing in which students testify before a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. (history, civics, middle school, high school)
  • Model United Nations (MUN): Model United Nations (MUN) is a global program in which student simulate the UN General Assembly, UN Security Council, or other multilateral bodies, introducing them to the world of diplomacy, negotiation, and decision making. Students begin by researching current global issues and learn how those issues are addressed by the international community. They then progress to become “delegates” that act in an ambassador role, representing countries from all over the world, as they debate issues, draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries to resolve conflict. MUN groups participate with other groups on local, national and international levels.  (civics, current events, middle school, high school)
  • Teaching Tolerance: A project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. They provide free educational materials to teachers and other school practitioners including a magazine and free lesson plans and activities on various subjects such as Civil Rights, Immigration, Gender Issues and more for youth of all ages.  (history, civics, current events, social justice, k-12)