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iEngage Encourages Civic Participation

iEngage Summer Civics Institute TCU

From TCU This Week

What does it mean to be a good citizen? What does it mean to advocate? How can one person make a difference in his or her community? These are just a few of the questions posed to 48 middle school students at TCU’s inaugural iEngage Summer Civics Institute earlier this month.

The iEngage camp teaches students about civic leadership and public service and provides them with opportunities to address issues impacting their communities. Camp activities, including a visit to Fort Worth City Hall, meetings with elected officials, digital games and researching local community issues such as homelessness and pollution culminated with an advocacy project and presentation to members of the community and students’ families.

“We want to instill a sense of responsibility and empower young students to be change agents,” said Dr. Michelle Bauml, associate professor of early childhood/social studies and coordinator of the iEngage camp. “We introduce campers to civic leaders, discuss social issues and facilitate small group projects, providing age-appropriate activities that allow them to build skills and practice what they learn.

“Hopefully, the campers will utilize their newfound perspectives to understand the people they meet and the world around them.”

iEngage Summer Civics Institute is offered at no charge thanks to the generous funding of the Hatton W. Sumners Foundation and the College of Education.

Bauml teaches undergraduate courses for TCU’s early childhood (EC-6) program and graduate courses in curriculum and instruction. She earned her master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas-Houston and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Examples of 2016 iEngage student projects may be found here.