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Civics Fair showcases students projects, from op-eds to videos to speeches

December08/ 2011

A student’s report on his experience running for town supervisor. An original video about “George W” and the 2012 campaign. Political cartoons and Op-Eds about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Even a billboard about the effect of education budget cuts.

These and many other projects will be presented by more than 150 high school students at the 7th annual Civics Fair this Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at the August Wilson Center downtown.

“The Civics Fair brings together students from across the region to showcase their civic engagement projects and present their ideas to community leaders,” says Heather Harr from Carlow’s Youth Media Advocacy project, one of the sponsors.

It’s a unique event that inspires students to dream up creative ways of impacting their communities, and rewards them for their civic engagement. The Civics Fair is also designed to engage multiple intelligences – some students are great writers and write Op-Eds, others use their artistic skills to create political cartoons, still others hone their political oratory.  In the Youth Media Advocacy Project showcase, students present their ideas for reforming education through media such as TV commercials and billboards.”

It goes beyond a presentation. One project to extend voting to 17-year-olds became a bill introduced in the Pennsylvania State Legislature, says Harr. And another participant was recognized with the Pittsburgh-area Jefferson Award for Public Service.

“The Civics Fair is a capacity-building experience for being a fully engaged citizen,” she notes.

Civics Fair 2011 is a collaboration between Greater Pittsburgh Student Voices and the Youth Media Advocacy Project, which is supported by Carlow University and funded by The Heinz Endowments.