Expanded learning programming is an ideal format for civic learning.

Our nation thrives when citizens and residents are educated, active and informed. However, data consistently shows young people are not prepared with the civic knowledge needed for life beyond high school. High-quality civic education is crucial in equipping youth with the knowledge necessary for meaningful community engagement—and creates a bridge between classroom learning and real life.

Expanded learning programs reach children and youth in all corners of our state. By design, they have  flexibility to engage young people in hands-on, experiential learning. Quality programs complement and enhance learning that happens during the school day and provide opportunities for youth leadership and engagement, which are integral to civic learning.

In Washington State, the Civic Learning Initiative was created to address education gaps and determine how the state can be more effective in providing meaningful civic learning for all Washington youth, both in and out of school.  School’s Out Washington serves as one of the initiative sponsors, along with other partners representing public and private institutions. The Civic Learning Initiative stems from a strong coalition of leaders who believe in the value of bringing high-quality civic education to our youth.  Download our issue brief.

Initiative goals:

  • Foster collaboration between in-school and out-of-school civic learning educators to ensure opportunities for training, programs, curricula, and professional development are networked and shared
  • Promote equity by prioritizing civic learning opportunities for underserved youth least engaged with civics, especially youth of color, immigrant and refugee youth, and youth in rural communities
  • Establish local civic learning partnerships
  • Raise public awareness and support for civic learning


Contact our Policy & Advocacy Director, David Beard, at dbeard@schoolsoutwashington.org