City of Cambridge Participatory Budgeting
We, 8th Grade Teachers of Cambridge, CPSD’s History and Social Studies Department, and engaged community members, request $100,000 of Participatory Budgeting funds to pilot a mini Participatory Budgeting process to supercharge the city-wide 8th grade civics curriculum. As a part of the social studies curriculum, over 400 8th graders across Cambridge spend the year studying civics. The last few months of the year, they embark on student-led research and civic action projects of their own design. Past examples include: Climate Change awareness campaign including a mural proposal Meditation Room for Cambridge police officers Mental health support for teens What if instead of the current showcase, the year culminated in a mini participatory budgeting process in which 8th graders select the most impactful projects based on criteria developed with the teaching team? We understand the effort this process demands and are committed to assisting in all ways possible.
Lets start with greater investment, making it exciting, and calling it “school.”
FIRST Robotics (wikipedia) is a transformative STEM activity. Part club, part sport, high school students (under the guidance of adult mentors) design, build, and rebuild robots to complete tasks created by the competition. FIRST has inspired hundreds of thousands of youth to pursue STEM education and careers.
In 2018, the Act to Promote and Enhance Civic Engagement was passed requiring 8th graders across Massachusetts to create student-led civics projects. Learn more about it here. Similar legislation is being passed across the country. How might we claim this new educational requirement as a moment to reimagine why and how we educate changemakers?
Jenny Chung, Cambridge Public School District History and Social Studies Department
the study of the rights and duties of citizenship.
relating to a city or town, especially its administration; municipal.
"civic and business leaders"
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