Civic Learning Award: Brawley Union High School

Brawley Union High School

Elk Grove Unified School District
County of: Imperial
Civic Learning Award of: Excellence
Recognized for: Program Expansion and Student Participation

Summary: Brawley Union High School's mandated Civics and U.S. History courses for bilingual students expand to entire student body, and membership in its Civics Club increases from 27 to 140 students.

Civic Learning Highlights

Brawley Union High School received a Civic Learning Award in 2013 at the Distinction level. In 2014, Brawley Union High is recognized with the Award of Excellence due to the growth of two mandated courses, U.S. History and Civics, and the expansion of its Civics Club. The school expanded its bilingual civics club, bilingual civics course, and bilingual U.S. history course to include students who have grown up in the United States. Once limited to about two dozen bilingual students, the Civics Club has grown to more than 140 people this year. 

The Brawley Civics Club gives students the opportunity to discuss and research local, state, and national issues. Students commit to an issue and take steps to make a difference. For example, when the issue of low voter turnout in the district was discussed, Civics Club students reached out to the community by holding voting drives and became active campaigning for various elections to increase voting turnout.

The club holds mock elections for local and national races and organizes fundraisers and a marathon each year to fund senior scholarships. Brawley’s Civics Club isn’t just limited to the students at school, however. Students actively engage their parents by getting them to attend District ELAC meetings and to represent their local bilingual community.

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

Jose Flores
480 N. Imperial Ave.
Brawley, CA