Our First Steps
Through grassroots programs and curriculum enhancement, The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative can influence the preparation of young students for informed and active citizenship. Our programs seek to mold leaders who can run our country effectively and respectfully in accordance with civic virtue.
The civics discussion club serves myriad purposes. First, American students can improve their ability to logically assess a problem in terms of civic virtue and debate their contentions respectfully. If we can raise enough leaders with these sets of skills, hopefully we can curb the political strife that extremism has caused in America. Second, sections of the club will be catered specifically to sons and daughters of military families. It is imperative that we give back to the children of military families, the men and women who ensure that America has any future at all. Finally, the students are gaining the opportunity to build their resume for college applications by engaging in a unique educational experience.
The TDCI Civics Discussion Club will serve the general public, and will be held perhaps twice a month, for roughly an hour to an hour and a half. The Civics Discussion Club will establish a platform for individuals to come together for open discussion about topics of interest, such as current events or the history of this country. The Discussion Club will be facilitated by individuals with vast historical knowledge and a deep passion for civic education. Facilitators might be leaders in the corporate sector, lawyers, academia, school teachers – anyone with a deep interest in civic education. Club participants might include students of all ages, teachers, neighbors – people with disparate points of view. All citizens that want to participate in discussion about America are welcome. Though much of the focus of the The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative is on civics in the classroom, the Discussion Club is an opportunity for all people to come together to talk about subjects of interest. Each club will create its own rhythm (discussion topics, suggested reading, leadership, field trips, etc.). Field trips might be a trip to a museum or a trip to historic locations like Washington DC or Gettysburg.
We encourage debate within the Club and with other Clubs. Formal debates will follow the Oxford Rules of Debate. Finalists may be the central part of a banquet dinner, and either by acclamation or a panel of judges (chosen for their political or education expertise) will declare winners and losers.
The purpose of the club is to get the general public to think critically and discuss how we can improve our country. By participating in the club, participants will gain or re-gain understanding of our government in the context of political development over time. It is this aspect of American citizenship, the ability to impact our policies and representatives, which is so crucial to our political structure. These discussion-centered clubs can help citizens utilize the sovereignty and individual rights that were granted in the founding documents. In addition to gaining knowledge, critical-thinking and debate skills, students will gain an appreciation for civic values like civility, clarity of thought, and the need for dissent, debate, opposing views. American citizens must analyze the extent to which our government acts in accordance with the ideas set out in the founding documents. The active engagement of citizens in the direction of our country is paramount in creating a successful future. The club will provide the public with a platform to discuss the state of the country and to hone the skills they need to be active, intelligent citizens.
SERVING MILITARY FAMILIES
No one illustrates civic virtue more than our armed forces, men and women who give their lives to protect our country. Dedication, civility, and selflessness are part of their daily lives and we here at the Dreyfuss Civics Initiative feel that it is important that we reward the families of these soldiers for their duty. Being headquartered in San Diego, we are in close proximity to military bases, and we plan to have sections of the club which will be strategically located within areas which serve a high population of military families.