CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

November 2015 E-Update

November 30th, 2015
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CIRCLE Receives W.T. Grant Foundation Support to Study Social and Economic Effects of Youth Civic Participation

The William T. Grant Foundation has made a $125,000 grant to CIRCLE to study “Reducing Inequality in Between-Neighborhood Disparity Through Youth Civic Empowerment and Participation.”

Much research by CIRCLE and others finds that civic activities have social, physical, and economic benefits for the young people who participate. This body of research has not so far focused on the specific question of whether engaging young people in civic activities improves social and economic outcomes for communities as a whole over time. We hypothesize that communities with high social cohesion promote youth contribution to local volunteering, group membership, public discussions, and activism by creating participatory opportunities and supporting institutions that nurture youth civic development.


Our study will focus on residents of 30 Chicago neighborhoods. Findings from the study have the potential to inform policy and practice by revealing neighborhood conditions that support youth engagement and by exploring whether youth engagement improves social and economic outcomes for all in the long run.

Read more.

Impact Measures: Conservation Leadership and Classroom Civic Opportunities

This fall, CIRCLE has been featuring guest posts from practitioners and researchers about impact measures. In November, we featured two posts with different approaches to thinking about impact:

In a practitioner-researcher collaboration, the Student Conservation Association and Search Institute developed a series of conservation leadership measures that provide the opportunity to both test program effectiveness and capture the development of program participants. Read more.

The second November guest post provides a unique tool to capture youth exposure to civic opportunities within a classroom. Research indicates that the level of opportunities among youth can vary dramatically, especially within schools, and this new observation tool allows for capturing the various aspects of what the authors call the “civic landscape of the school.” Read more.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

Call for guest posts: Youth Electoral Engagement and Beyond

*Due January 1*

CIRCLE is seeking proposals for guest posts to our website focused on relationships between electoral engagement and civic life and democracy more generally.

The full call for proposals can be found here.

Federal Support for Civic Education

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now renamed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is expected to come up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. Partner organizations have worked with policymakers to include support for civic learning in ESSA. If interested, you can use this form from our partners at the National Council for the Social Studies to contact your representatives about the vote.

CIRCLE in the News

In the past month, data, analysis, and commentary from CIRCLE leaders has been prominently featured in various news outlets:

NPR: “Why Do Young People Like Socialism More Than Older People Do?

McClatchy DC: “Republicans’ prescription for political tolerance tested

Richmond Confidential: “Richmond Youth Council aims to lower voting age

© 2010 CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

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