Nov. 16, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The Queens borough president has launched a new initiative to educate high schoolers about city government and the importance of civic engagement.
The borough president’s office is sending in staff into Queens high schools to teach students about the role city officials and elected leaders play in local government, as well as how city government can address quality-of-life issues.
The initiative, dubbed “Civics in the Classroom,” is being offered to one high school per week. The program kicked off this morning at Bayside High School.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards joined the school’s principal, Tracy Martinez, and hosted a discussion in front of hundreds of students about the importance of voting and getting involved in one’s community.
Richards said that while the younger generation is leading many political movements, there are many young people who are not engaged with or educated about their local government.
“The youngest among us are courageously leading nationwide movements around systemic discrimination, gun violence, voting rights, climate change and more, giving us all so much hope for the future of our society,” he said in a statement. “But there are still far too many young people who are unaware of their power or unsure of their place in our city,”
Richards said he hopes Civics in the Classroom will motivate students to see themselves as local leaders and trailblazers.
“With ‘Civics in the Classroom,’ we hope to not only educate our students about civic engagement but empower them to be the changemakers our city and country need,” he said.
The initiative is being spearheaded by Richards’ Civic Engagement Coordinator Tim Chubinidze. School administrators interested in Civics in the Classroom can contact Chubinidze by emailing [email protected].