Baylor University’s Civics Engagement Camp Provides Students with Opportunities to Impact their Communities

  • iEngage 1
    Students play iCivics games at this year's iEngage Camp held Aug. 11 through Aug. 15 (Courtesy: Meg Cullar/School of Education)
  • iEngage 2
    More than 90 fifth-through-ninth graders are participating in the iEngage Summer Camp learning about how to impact their communities. (Courtesy: Meg Cullar/School of Education)
  • iEngage 3
    Students attend a presentation at the iEngage Summer Camp. (Courtesy: Meg Cullar/School of Education)
Aug. 13, 2014

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Contact: Tonya B. Lewis, (254) 710-4656

WACO, Texas (Aug. 13, 2014) – More than 90 fifth-through ninth-graders are participating in iEngage, a civics engagement summer camp Aug. 11-15 at Baylor University, where they are learning how to make a difference in their neighborhoods, schools and communities and build leadership skills.

Student groups will present their community advocacy projects during a showcase on Friday from 3:30 - 5 p.m. in the Marrs McLean Science Building, 1214 S. 4th St.

“iEngage presents students with the idea of civic leadership and the notion of public service at a young age. The students research community issues they believe need to be improved or changed and learn ways to address those issues. iEngage empowers 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 is being held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Aug. 11, through Friday, Aug. 15, in Baylor University’s Marrs McLean Science Building, 1214 S. 4th 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 the work of LeCompte and Brooke Blevins, Ph.D., iEngage co-creator and assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at Baylor, in researching and implementing 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.

The 2014 camp focuses on local issues in the Waco community. On Monday, representatives from local agencies shared their work dealing with hunger, poverty, animal welfare, seniors and the environment, and campus chose topics for an advocacy project. Photos from Monday are here: School of Education Facebook page.

As part of the camp, students also play iCivics video games, produce a blog, create a multimedia project focusing on a community issue of their choice and learn about the legal process at the Baylor Law School.

On Friday, U.S. Rep. Bill Flores will speak to the group at 9 a.m. Friday afternoon, students will showcase their advocacy projects and blogs from 3:30 – 5 p.m., with special guests Baylor President and Chancellor Ken Starr, Law School Dean Brad Toben, and School of Education Dean Jon Engelhardt on hand during that time.

Blevins believes that the program is poised to make an impact.

“This summer our students are learning what it means to be an engaged and active citizen in their local community,” Blevins said. “As a result of their participation, students are recognizing that they have voice and can be advocates for change in their community. The community showcase will highlight students’ advocacy projects and demonstrate how young people are making a difference in their world.”

On Friday, student blogs will be available at http://blogs.baylor.edu/iengage under the “Student Projects” tab.

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

Founded in 1919, the Baylor School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School prepares leaders beginning in undergraduate programs, continuing through master’s-level work and culminating in both Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs; impacts the world as students participate in faculty-guided fieldwork, service learning and community-focused research in local and global contexts; and shapes the future by mentoring the whole person, developing an understanding of theory and practice and encouraging responsiveness to one’s calling.

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