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The Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education for North Carolina

The Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education for North Carolina (formerly the Holocaust Speakers Bureau) assists local educators and organizations deal with the challenging topics of Holocaust, genocide, tolerance, and human rights. In 2014, the Consortium began a partnership with the Center to develop lesson plans to accompany the Center’s short documentaries of Holocaust survivors living in North Carolina. These lessons can be accessed in the Consortium’s Database as they are completed; links to view each film online are contained within the lesson.

The Civic Action Project

The Civic Action Project (CAP) is an experiential, web-based curriculum developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) that bridges the gap between government class and real world civic action.  Through a series of lessons – each focusing on a particular idea or skill, such as policymaking and government, policy analysis, persuasion, or working with elected officials – students identify an issue that is important to them and use the skills they have learned via CAP to engage their wider communities and affect change.  Best of all, it’s free for any educator!

In 2011, Carolina K-12 (then named the Civic Education Consortium) partnered with CRF to introduce CAP to teachers from across the state, as well as 4-H Cooperative Extension programs, youth councils, and other after school programs. Daniel Helms, a teacher from Cabarrus County who attended the initial CAP training, sees the long-term benefits of engaging students in projects like CAP. “Knowing that you can go and talk to the mayor, you can talk to county commissioners – if there’s a need that you see in your neighborhood, there are people who can address it,” he said. “That’s a skill students need for the rest of their lives.”  To read more about Daniel Helms’ experience using CAP, visit here. For more information about CAP, click here.

Deliberating in a Democracy in the Americas

Deliberating in a Democracy Americas (DDA), a program of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago (CRFC), the Constitutional Rights Foundation in Los Angeles (CRF), and Street Law, Inc., promotes the teaching and learning of democratic principles and the skills of civic deliberation among a new generation in the United States and in Latin America.

In 2011, Carolina K-12 (then named the NC Civic Education Consortium) was chosen as one of seven American sites to participate in DDA’s international teacher program. The Consortium partnered with Guilford County Schools for the exciting initiative. Teachers and students throughout Guilford County Schools have been working with teachers and students from California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Virginia as well as four international partners—Columbia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru—as they learn and deliberate about pressing issues in our democracies.

The teachers began their work with the program by participating in an international training in Lima, Peru, July 31 – August 4, 2011. Teachers spent the week learning about the DDA deliberation process, exploring the lesson plans that they will use with their students, and planning future collaborations with teachers from Guayaquil, Ecuador (North Carolina’s international partner site.) North Carolina and Guayaquil will meet again this summer in Chicago, IL for a second international conference, where they will reflect on the deliberations they have led with their students and plan future collaborations. To read more about Guilford County’s participation in this project, click here. To learn more about the deliberative process, and to access DDA’s free lesson plans and readings for use in the classroom, click here.

Duke Law’s “Voices of American Law”

“Voices of American Law” is an initiative of the Duke University School of Law that provides high-quality educational materials to assist in studying the Supreme Court and its role in American society. Voices of American Law offers detailed 20-minute documentaries on key Supreme Court cases, focusing on interviews with the parties themselves, their lawyers, and the judges who shaped the case. These videos tell the stories of the real people behind the Court’s opinions, and they present an exceptional opportunity to bring the cases alive to students in the classroom.

Carolina K-12 partnered with Voices of American Law to create detailed and engaging lesson plans to accompany each of the documentaries. The Consortium also hosts an annual high school teacher training in collaboration with Duke Law to teach about the cases. To learn more about the DVDs and the lesson plans, visit here.

Mike Wiley Productions

Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley introduces students and communities to the legacies of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown, the Freedom Riders, and more through his unique and interactive performances, many of which are one-man-shows in which he plays multiple characters. Each work in the company’s repertoire is designed to inspire young audiences to examine America’s racial history, teach the lessons of the past and encourage the application of these truths to the present. Learn more about Mike Wiley’s work, and how you can arrange for a performance at your school, here. For accompanying lesson plans on various topics of African American history from Carolina K-12, click here.

The National Humanities Center

The National Humanities Center provides teachers with materials and instructional strategies to make them more effective in the classroom and rekindle their enthusiasm for the subjects they teach. Their online lesson plans include key questions, essential understandings, and primary sources with context, background, and discussion excerpts for classroom teaching. History and literature teachers can also sign up to participate in live, interactive professional development webinars, conducted by leading scholars. (North Carolina teachers can enter the code HHV15 to waive the webinar fee!) Over 100 on demand webinars are also archived on their site. Additional resources such as collections of historical documents, literary texts, and works of art thematically organized with notes and discussion questions, annotated and excerpted for classroom use can be found on their site.

The North Carolina City & County Management Association

The North Carolina City & County Management Association’s (NCCCMA) Civic Education Project (broken link. in the process of fixing) works to educate youth and adults about local government in North Carolina. The Project’s Local Government Seminars for teachers and Citizens Academy Guide ensure that all of our communities’ citizens have the opportunity to learn about local government and become involved in civic life.

The NCCCMA provides excellent resources for teachers, such as an online local government textbook, which educates the reader about how counties, cities, towns, and villages affect our lives. Explore the online textbook by clicking here. Further, Carolina K-12 partners with the NCCCMA to offer Local Government Seminars each year, innovative and engaging trainings for teachers, after school providers, and other education stakeholders on teaching about North Carolina local government.

For more information about the NCCCMA, click here. For inquiries about upcoming Local Government Seminars, check our Upcoming Trainings page or contact Paul Bonnici at

The North Carolina Museum of History

In 2014, Carolina K-12 and the North Carolina Museum of History launched a collaborative professional development series, Hidden Histories: What Your History Textbook Left Out, consisting of two-day seminars available to K-12 teachers around the state. The series is designed to deepen educator knowledge of less known state and national history by providing participants with a better understanding of neglected people and events throughout history in order to better engage their students’ interest and curiosity in our state and nation’s past, while making key connections to current events. Hidden Histories expands participant content knowledge and pedagogical skills, but also provides crucial opportunities for teachers to renew their passion and excitement for the K-12 classroom. Each event includes personal interaction with scholars and professional historians, exploration of innovative lesson plans utilizing primary sources, integration of the creative arts, hands-on investigation of the Museum’s exhibits, and structured collaboration with colleagues from across the state. To learn about and register for future Hidden Histories events, visit our Upcoming Training’s page. Hidden Histories is generously funded by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

NC Open Government Coalition

The North Carolina Open Government Coalition is a nonpartisan coalition that unites organizations interested in ensuring and enhancing the public’s access to government activity, records and meetings. Carolina K-12 (formerly the NC Civic Education Consortium) assisted the NC Open Government Coalition in their  goal to educate the public about the principles and benefits of open government, including each citizen’s rights to gain access to governmental meetings and records, by creating a curriculum for middle and high school students. Access the curriculum, “You’re Right to Know: Open Government, Sunshine Laws, and the Freedom of Information Act” by clicking here. An accompanying Power Point is also available here.

NC Civic Health Index 2010

The National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) has published America’s Civic Health Index annually since 2006. Through the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, NCoC formalized a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Corporation for National and Community Service to develop, refine, and implement annual measures of America’s civic health. This year, NCoC partnered with 13 states and 4 cities to assess state and local civic health. North Carolina’s Civic Health Index was overseen by a team of organizations committed to advancing civic engagement in North Carolina. Carolina K-12 (formerly the NC Civic Education Consortium,) along with Democracy North Carolina, North Carolina Campus Compact, the North Carolina Center for Voter Education, and the Department of Public Policy at Western Carolina University joined to assess the state’s civic health with a united purpose to document, and ultimately improve, civic engagement in North Carolina. The Center for Civic Education provided crucial funding to support this project.

For information about the 2003 Civic Index, click here.