Dear Friends,

This issue of the Jared Polis Foundation Education Report is focused on civics and citizenship, specifically how Colorado students understand and are involved in civics and their path to becoming informed and active citizens in their community. An integral way for youth to become active citizens is through volunteering, service learning, and eventually voting.

It is encouraging to read the Metro Volunteers’ article citing increased numbers of youth volunteers across the country, how these young volunteers connect with their community service, and the real possibility that many of them will continue to donate their time well into adulthood.

Leader’s Challenge Curriculum Director, George Brown, offers a thoughtful piece focusing on the importance of youth understanding and connecting to their government in order for them to become knowledgeable citizens who take part in voting. Leader’s Challenge is an organization where many high school students learn about and take part in civics and service learning within their own communities.

There is an informative piece in this edition on growing young philanthropists through the 15 Forever program at The Community Foundation of Boulder County. As you’ll read, it is an exciting opportunity for 15 young people to discuss the issues that matter most to them and their peers and to find ways to support organizations that focus on these issues.

Every edition of the education report includes updates on the foundation’s work as well as highlighting excellent teachers, students, and schools from around Colorado. The profiles in this report focus on the great work these folks are doing as well as emphasizing civics and citizenship.

Much of this report illustrates youth connecting with their communities through volunteering, a deep understanding of the mission of charitable work, and the importance of philanthropy for people in need. Will this generation of young people affect more positive change than the generations before them? There is an inference in several of these pieces that this may be the case if they continue to get involved in their communities, and understand the importance of being active citizens.

I hope you find the fall 2008 edition interesting. If you have any questions or comments please email me, gina@jaredpolisfoundation.org, or call me, 303.865.3955.

Sincerely,

Gina Nocera, Executive Director
Jared Polis Foundation