We love it. But even we have to admit the word doesn’t do the idea justice. Because it’s more than politics, current events, government policy or even citizen action. It’s got its roots in revolution, passionate debate and everyone’s right, responsibility and just plain, good luck to be part of a society where your voice can be heard. Not without difficulty sometimes, but why get excited about something that’s easy?
No matter what you believe, where you live or whether or not you agree with your neighbors, civics and citizenship is about finding your power to help build a better world: in your neighborhood, in your community and even in the halls of the State Capitol and beyond. For nearly two decades, CPAN has worked to put the tools you need to build that better world in your living room, on your desktop and in your hands.
Our pioneering work on public affairs programming and government transparency at the Connecticut Network (CT-N) led us to start exploring historical context and modeling good citizenship at Connecticut’s Old State House, which we still do today. Connecticut History Day helps teach primary research and critical thinking to middle- and high schoolers, to provide the foundations of media literacy. And Kid Governor® proves that even 11-year-olds can create a platform to solve a problem, get elected by their peers and embark on a career of meaningful public service. We’re looking to yesterday, today and tomorrow to build that better world, and we’re only getting started.
Today, CPAN has a new objective: to make – and keep – civics cool, with new programs, new platforms and new conversations. So keep watching, and consider supporting, while we work on getting something new and exciting off the ground in the next few weeks. Maybe we’ll even think of a better word for it in the meantime.