I was delighted to be invited to speak to the Wave Week 2012 volunteers during their “Spark the Wave: Igniting Teen Volunteers” camp in Vadul lui Voda, Moldova.
The Mission of Spark the Wave is to empower, train, and mentor the next generation of leaders who will impact the world through a lifelong commitment to community service.
I spoke with the Wave Week volunteers about the importance of volunteerism and about integration of civic engagement into the curriculum in the U.S.
Of course, this meant they heard a mini-US Constitutional Law lecture. I wanted to first discuss the concept of “citizen” in the U.S. Constitution and the rights (and responsibilities) of citizenship in the U.S. before moving on to a portrait of civic health in America — and efforts to improve civic health by integrating civic engagement in the curriculum. I discussed the objective of my work with the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship (conducting teacher trainings to implement the new Sandra Day O’Connor Civic Education Act which aims to incorporate civic education in K-12 curriculum in Florida) and my work expanding the Citizen Scholar Program at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (first as Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, now as Associate Director of the Bishop Center for Ethical Leadership and Civic Engagement).
It was through a connection with a Wave Week 2011 volunteer (my colleague Svetlana’s daughter Beatrice) that we developed one of my daughter Peggy’s community service projects in Chisinau (at Casa Gavroche) — so I also had a personal experience to share about the ripple effects of their community service projects in Moldova that related to civic engagement in the K-12 curriculum in the U.S. (Peggy’s volunteer work in Moldova was a partial fulfillment of her gifted class Kids Care assignment in Madeira Beach, FL.)
- If you are interested in taking a Citizen Scholar course at USFSP, please see our Citizen Scholar Course Catalog.
- Read more data about civic life in the US.