How to get kids thinking about what it means to be a good citizen

Title slide: How To Raise Informed Citizens, a comic by LA Johnson with expert advice from Ashley Rogers Berner and Hasan Kwame Jeffries.
Whether you're running for office, volunteering or paying taxes, it's all civics (the study of citizenship).
Did you know? Research shows that students who spend more time on the nuts and bolts of civics, like history and geography, actually do better in other subjects.
Make it fun! Civics learning is everywhere.
Tip: Take your kids for a walk and help them understand which places are public and which are private.
Teach your children the fine art of tolerant disagreement. "If you avoid conversations about how people believe or what disagreements we have, you're actually teaching kids that either those questions aren't important, or they're not appropriate for public discourse." -Ashley Rogers Berner.
Put civics into action! Get involved in your community. Kids need that nudge to see you being an active citizen.
Don't skip over the "hard history." "He is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse his sins." -Frederick Douglass
Don't try to gloss over the horrors of slavery or the genocide of Native Americans.
But we also shouldn't forget to show kids the genius, the beautiful, the courageous struggles of so many Americans.

Updated June 30, 2022 at 10:47 PM ET

This comic, by NPR's LA Johnson, is based on interviews by education correspondents Anya Kamenetz and Cory Turner, who spoke with Ashley Rogers Berner and Hasan Kwame Jeffries for NPR's Life Kit podcast.

Listen to their conversation at the top of this page or here, and read the article here. The podcast portion of this episode was produced by Sylvie Douglis.

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