Baylor University's Civics Engagement Camp to Provide Students with Opportunities to Impact Their Communities

  • iCivics_flag
  • Brooke Blevins
    Brooke Blevins, Ph.D, iEngage co-creator and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education. (Baylor University photo)
  • Karon LeCompte
    Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., iEngage co-creator and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education. (Baylor University photo)
Aug. 9, 2013

WACO, Texas (Aug. 9, 2013) - More than 60 fifth-through 10th-graders will participate in iEngage, a civics engagement summer camp Aug. 12-14 at Baylor University, where they will learn how to make a difference in their neighborhoods, schools and communities and build leadership skills.

"iEngage will present students with the idea of civic leadership and the notion of public service at a young age. The students will research community issues they believe need to be improved or changed and learn ways to address those issues. iEngage will empower youth to be change agents themselves," said Karon LeCompte, Ph.D., iEngage co-creator and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the Baylor School of Education.

iEngage will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, August 12 through Wednesday, August 14 in Baylor University's Jesse Jones Library, 1301 S. 2nd St. The camp is free, thanks to a grant from the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation, and students will receive T-shirts and lunch.

iEngage is a continuation of LeCompte's and Brooke Blevins', Ph.D., iEngage co-creator and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Baylor, research and implementation of iCivics in Midway and Waco Independent School Districts. iCivics is a free online website founded by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor that teaches civics concepts using 16 educational games.

Participants will be placed in three groups: Citizens (grades 5-6), Legislators (grades 7-8) and Cabinet members (grades 9-10). As part of the camp, students will hear from U.S. Rep. Bill Flores and meet Baylor President Ken Starr and other community leaders, play iCivics video games, create a multimedia project focusing on a community issue of their choice and participate in a mock trial at the Baylor Law School. Justice Tom Gray, Justice Rex Davis and attorney Greg White will serve as moot court justices and provide the children with feedback on their legal arguments at the trial.

Blevins and LeCompte facilitated a two-day training to prepare teachers to serve as iEngage camp counselors.

"Our teachers' institute represents the new model of professional development where teachers receive training and are immediately able to practice techniques and skills with children versus waiting several weeks to implement their new strategies," LeCompte said.

Armed with trained teachers and eager students, Blevins believes that the program is poised to make an impact.

"This program will teach students to be advocates for their communities and use their civic knowledge in meaningful and impactful ways," Blevins said.

For more information on iEngage, visit www.baylor.edu/soe/iengage. To learn more about iCivics, visit www.baylor.edu/mediacommunications/icivics.

ABOUT BAYLOR

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

ABOUT BAYLOR SCHOOL OF EDUCATION

The Baylor School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and consists of four departments: Curriculum and Instruction (preparation for classroom teachers and specialists); Educational Administration (post-graduate preparation for school leadership); Educational Psychology (undergraduate and graduate programs for those who are interested in learning, development, measurement, and exceptionalities); and Health, Human Performance and Recreation (preparing for sport- and health-related careers, athletic training and careers in recreational professions, including churches).The School of Education enrolls more than 1,000 undergraduate students and 300 graduate students, employs 70 faculty, and is one of the few school s in the State of Texas that offers a yearlong teaching internship.

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