The Illinois Civic Mission Coalition (ICMC) has recognized Collinsville High School as a 2016 Illinois Democracy School. The announcement was made today by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in conjunction with Constitution Day, September 16, 2016.
To become a Democracy School, CHS was required to complete a rigorous assessment and application process that included an inventory of current and future civic learning initiatives. In this process, schools look closely at themselves and their communities and develop a plan for civic engagement and outreach. Since 2006, only 54 Illinois high schools have successfully completed the school-wide civic assessment and have been subsequently recognized as Democracy Schools.
As an Illinois Democracy School, CHS will receive a stipend from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which convenes the ICMC, to invest in high quality civic learning initiatives, as well as a banner for public display.
Democracy Schools foster a climate that nurtures and models civic dispositions and builds strong relationships within the surrounding community. These schools provide students with various opportunities to participate in the democratic process such as engaging in current and controversial issue discussions, participating in democratic simulations and providing service learning opportunities. Through these practices, students see firsthand the critical role they play in shaping government and society.
Collinsville High School’s work to fulfill its mission as a Democracy School includes the recent memorial flag display at the school in memory of 9/11 victims, a mock presidential election in November and creation of a permanent Veterans Memorial at the high school.
Democracy Schools are recognized for providing the students with authentic experiences in the rights, responsibilities and tensions inherent in living in a constitutional democracy. Through these experiences, participating schools strive to equip students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for informed, effective engagement in our democracy.
According to the McCormick Foundation, Collinsville High School has truly embraced the spirit and commitment that is needed to become a Democracy School. The Democracy School Team’s enthusiasm and commitment to civic education is contagious.
The Democracy School Team at CHS includes teachers Barbara Lindauer and Mary Sue Noeth, counselor Karen Olsen, Assistant Principal Stevie Brown and Principal David Snider.
The Democracy School Team will officially present information about the Illinois Democracy School program during the September 19th Collinsville Community Unit School District #10 School Board Meeting.
The Robert R. McCormick Foundation’s mission is fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. The McCormick Foundation, among the nation’s largest foundations with more than $1.5 billion in assets, was established in 1955 upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the long-time editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune.
The Robert C. McCormick Foundation has convened the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition since 2010. ICMC is a broad non-partisan consortium which includes educators, administrators, students, universities, funders, elected officials, policymakers and representatives from the private and non-profit sectors. ICMC is part of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools, a national initiative to restore a core purpose of education to prepare America’s youngest citizens to be informed and active participants in our democracy.