Civic Learning Award: John F. Kennedy High School

John F. Kennedy High School

Fremont Unified School District
County of:
Civic Learning Award of: Merit

Civic Learning Description

Students at John F. Kennedy High in Fremont design their own Civic Action Project (CAP), participating in a program designed to teach them about active citizenship. Students design their CAPs using a research-based process; they identify a public policy problem; write a solution proposal; take steps to solve the problem; and document their entire process. Additionally, JFK High's youth and government club collaborates with the California YMCA Youth and Government program’s Fremont/Newark Delegation. Students elect officers in this program, who then serve as leaders and role models to younger students participating in Youth and Government activities. Finally, their AP US Government and Politics course emphasizes government and civic learning.

Research-Based Civic Education Practices

This school demonstrates the following research-based best practices in civic education. For more information on research-based best practices, visit the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools website.

  • 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.

Contact Information

Jennifer Elemen
39999 Blacow Rd. Fremont, CA 94538
510-657-4070, ex. 27406

This new video, produced by the California Bar Foundation, highlights John F. Kennedy High School as an example of the thriving civic learning programs recognized by the Civic Learning Awards. (2:35)