2017 has been an exciting year for us at Democracy In Practice. We’ve continued our experimentation and innovation, our sharing and learning, all with the aim of making leadership and civic education more inclusive, engaging, and educational. At the same time, our work has generated more and more interest, inspiring educators around the world to think critically and creatively about student government and how we develop tomorrow’s leaders.
Beyond the inspiring changes that we see daily in the schools, the highlight of the year was having our Student Government Lotteries selected by HundrED as one of the 100 most inspiring educational innovations globally (www.hundred.org/en). We also completely redesigned our website, released comprehensive step-by-step guides in both English and Spanish, and are finishing a series of how-to videos. We believe this is a significant step in helping educators implement these important practices in schools around the world and amplifying the change we are working toward.
On the ground, we’ve continued doing great work with student governments, particularly in the R.V. High School in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Our work in that school culminated this year in a deliberative forum, organized and facilitated by students with our support and training. Here, students, parents, and school staff together discussed students’ role in school decision making and planning. In collaboration with the Kettering Foundation, this forum helped us to improve the capacity building that we offer students and engage them in a deep evaluation of student government and its place within the school.
We’re excited as we look forward to 2018, where we will continue to work with students and teachers, share many more resources and videos, and get the word out that there are better and fairer ways to develop the next generation of leaders. However, we continue to do so on a shoestring budget, and without the support of those who share our commitment to a better democracy going forward, the sustainability of our work is in question.
If you think our work is important, please consider giving a donation this holiday season. Your contribution is tax deductible in the United States, and would go a long way in helping us continue to reinvent student government and share these innovations with more teachers and students.
We wish you happy holidays and we thank you for your continued support!
The Democracy In Practice Team