Fourth Annual Boys & Girls Clubs Civic Education Showcase a Success


On Wednesday, March 30th, in concert with the Lou Frey Institute (LFI), members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s (BGCCF) Middle School After School Zone assembled virtually and presented their Civic Action Projects (CAP) to an audience of community stakeholders and policymakers. The Civic Action Project enables club members to identify a community issue or problem of interest to them, research it, and propose a detailed plan for how to address it. This year’s showcase exhibited the work of 88 students from four Middle School After School Zone sites. Project topics ranged from the safe storage of firearms to mandatory mental health instruction of K-12 students to the effects of overweight backpacks on a 12 year-old spine. In every instance, students identified realistic solutions to address their concern and fielded questions from the community stakeholders and policymakers present.

State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith was a policymaker present and said of the showcase,

“Wow!! Very impressed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida student’s policy presentations at their After School Zone Civic Showcase. I’m truly inspired by these talented, compassionate future leaders & policymakers.”

Since 2017, the Lou Frey Institute (LFI) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) have partnered to support the civic learning of the BGCCF members through the Civic Action Project. This program was adapted for middle schools and after-school environments from the original Civics Action Project first developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Since the launch of this effort, over 200 middle school students have participated in the CAP program. Because of the hard work of BGCCF staff, site facilitators, and CAP teachers, club members are learning how to formally approach policy as a means for advocating change.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Civic Action Project Program for the After School Zone was named the recipient of the 2020 Best Overall Program Impact Excellence Award for the State of Florida by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Florida Area Council.

Both LFI and BGCCF are committed to continuing the hard work of cultivating a citizenry that is caring, informed, and engaged.

In support of these students and their facilitators is the Institute’s Director of Curriculum, Chris Spinale and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Director of Middle School Programs, Kelvin Curry.

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