The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.” – Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
Over the past few months, our news media has reported extensively on confirmation hearings, closed sessions, warnings of a filibuster, special caucuses and much more out of Washington D.C.
But do you really know what the news reporters are talking about or how these things actually fit within the landscape of our government?
If your answer is “no,” “sort of,” or “I think so,” then it might be time for a civics refresher! And even if your answer is “yes,” you’re still welcome to join in.
For many of us, it’s been years since we studied civics and the topics concerning the U.S. government or the rights and duties of being a citizen. But with much of the internal workings of the government being thrust into the spotlight through the news media, grassroots activism, and simple curiosity, now is a great time to revisit some of the basic civics lessons we all learned back in high school.
We’ve partnered with the Larimer County League of Women Voters and attorney and scholar Rabbi Hillel Katzir J.D. to create a three-part series, Civics @ Your Library, to examine key topics that comprise the foundation of our democracy. It’s a nonpartisan series designed to offer information and facts while also answering questions from the community.
Each of the three presentations is free and open to the public.
Extend Your Understanding
Be sure to also check out the other government and civics-related materials and resources available at the Poudre River Public Library District, from books and articles to databases and educational games.
Here are just a few:
1. Ben’s Guide is a website guide to the U.S. Government for ages 4+ and includes games, learning adventures, and more
2. CQ Researcher, an eResource that provides in-depth, fact-checked coverage of the most important issues of the day, includes dozens of topics like Government Functions, U.S. Congress, and U.S. Supreme Court.
3. iCivics: The Democracy Lab is an online tool with interactive games for learning about how government works. It’s designed for teens and tweens but is also great for adults. You can launch a presidential campaign, cast a vote, learn about the branches of power, and much more.
4. Kids.gov is the official kids’ portal for the U.S. government with links to information and services on the web from government agencies, schools, etc. all geared toward kids.
5. Learning Express provides citizenship test practice history and civics questions. Subjects include American government, American history, and integrated civics.
6. Newspaper Source provides full text articles for regional U.S. newspapers as well as international newspapers and newswires.
7. ProCitizen is an online learning resource to prepare you for U.S. Citizenship and includes videos, practice exercises and quizzes.
8. SIRS Government Reporter is a source for federal government statistical and summary reports on a variety of topics.
9. Zinio provides 24/7 access to magazines like Economist, Newsweek, The Atlantic and The New Yorker.