The Nitty Gritty

How Donald Trump is Reviving Our Democracy (and civic education)
August 5, 2017
Transforming students into engaged citizens
August 30, 2017

The Nitty Gritty

Civic Life Project teaches civics education in high school classrooms through documentary filmmaking. We bring civics education to life and deeply empower each student’s sense of personal voice and agency in their communities by engaging them on issues they care about using digital tools they already know and use.

The approach of The Civic Life Project is simple and effective. We teach students how to think through and frame an issue using a methodology developed by award winning documentary producers. They learn how to conduct thoughtful research and lead interviews on sensitive and sometimes highly charged issues.

Students select and focus on an issue that concerns them, conduct interviews, examine and explore opposing viewpoints, develop a cohesive perspective and narrative, and work together to produce a short-form documentary. Our students have produced more than ninety short films spanning a wide range of important, and often controversial, subjects including; the death penalty, Fifth Amendment student rights, and LGBT bullying.

Instead of being polarized and feeling disenfranchised, young people awaken to their political potential and engage critically and thoughtfully with each other. More than anything, they discover a thirst for civil discourse and a desire to participate in creating change in their communities. They come alive with excitement!

Want to know more? Take a tour through our website, and check out this film about Connecticut’s school achievement gap, produced by CLP students: Short Changed

Watch this and other student films produced over the last six years at Civic Life Project’s YouTube channel.