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November 21, 2013

More than 100 students to showcase public policy issues

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Students from Purdue University, Oakland High School, Jefferson High School and Noblesville High School will present solutions to public policy issues during a Project Citizen Showcase Dec. 3.

The showcase, which is free and open to the public, will be from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Purdue University's Stewart Center, Rooms 214-218.

The local Project Citizen is a collaborative effort by the Purdue College of Education's James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship and the high schools.

Project Citizen was developed by the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. It promotes participation in local and state government.

As part of the program, groups of students identify a public policy problem in their community, gather and evaluate information about the problem, examine potential solutions, select a solution, and develop an action plan for implementing the solution.

Among the public policy issues tackled by the local students are Lafayette street lights, same-sex marriage, crime, bullying, harassment in schools and healthy food choices at schools.

"This is the most authentic learning experience I have found about what it means to be an informed, participatory citizen," said Shannon White, a Noblesville High School social studies teacher. "There is no greater experience a young scholar can have than to practice being an involved citizen who brings positive change to his or her community."

During the showcase, each team of students will present its proposal and action plan for solving the issue to a panel composed of local community members, police officers, health care providers, state legislators and Purdue University faculty.

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Source: Asta Balkute, Ackerman Center assistant director, 765-496-3335, abalkute@purdue.edu