Civic Learning Award: Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership


Academy for Civic and Entrepreneurial Leadership

Fresno Unified School District
County of: Fresno
Civic Learning Award of: Distinction
Recognized for: project-based learning program, Fresno Youth Sustainability Council program, and civics course.

Civic Learning Description

Civic education is a priority at ACEL (Academy for Civic Entrepreneurial Leadership) Fresno in the form of project based learning. Students have the opportunity to solve interesting problems and address civic issues while gaining experience necessary to become civic and entrepreneurial leaders. ACEL’s Fresno Youth Sustainability Council project has given students a unique opportunity to experience civic engagement, a project where students identify potential policy changes to improve student services and then advocate to school boards and the California legislators for these policy changes. ACEL’s civics course then ties all of these experiences together and teaches a curriculum that helps students increase their understanding of American government and the fundamental concepts of democracy.

Research-Based Civic Education Practices

This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education:

• Provide instruction in government, history, law and democracy, and avoid teaching only rote facts about dry procedures.
• Discuss current local, national and international issues and events in the classroom, particularly those that young people view as important to their lives.
• Conduct community service that is linked to the formal curriculum and classroom (Service-learning).
• Offer extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for young people to get involved in their schools or communities.
• Encourage student participation in school governance.
• Encourage students’ participation in simulations of democratic process and procedures such as voting, trials, legislative deliberation, and diplomacy.

 For more information on research-based best practices, visit the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools website



Contact Information

John Minkler
1713 Tulare St. Suite 202
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 907-9534

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