WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the new school year begins, the National Civics Bee–an initiative created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to promote greater civic knowledge among young people, their families, and communities–is gearing up for a significant expansion. This comes in response to a clear demand from America’s parents, especially mothers, who have expressed a strong desire for enhanced civics education for their children.
A recent survey commissioned by the U.S. Chamber Foundation revealed that an overwhelming 90% of mothers believe civics should be taught in school. Seventy-three percent of mothers said learning about our government and other elements of civics is crucial for their children's future. About eight in ten feel that a solid understanding of democracy will empower their children to make informed decisions and contribute positively to their communities.
“The more my children know about our government, the better prepared they will be when it comes time to vote or support their ideas in our community,” said Amy Mascott, mother of three, educator, and longtime author of teachmama.com. “Teachers today have so much on their plate, it’s great to see the business community taking a role in promoting educational opportunities like civic learning to help them become informed and engaged citizens.”
National Civics Bee grows with first-ever nationwide contest planned for 2024
The National Civics Bee promotes and tests civics knowledge, as well as community engagement in cooperation with state and local chambers. Students in grades six, seven, and eight take part in the competition by submitting an essay. After a distinguished panel reviews the 500-word essays, the top 20 students in each community participate in a live competition at the local level. Winners from local competitions then compete at the state level for prizes and recognition.
Now in its third year, the competition has grown from five communities in 2022 to more than 50 in 2023. To date, the National Civics Bee has engaged more than 2,000 students across nine states, and brought together parents, educators, business owners, public officials, and community leaders to make civics education a priority for America’s children.
Due to overwhelming interest, next year the competition will expand to include children in 30 states, including Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Also for the first time in 2024, students will have the chance to compete in a national round of the National Civics Bee to showcase their civics knowledge on a national stage. By 2026, the National Civics Bee will be running in all 50 states.
Bring the National Civics Bee to your state
Currently, the National Civics Bee is accepting applications from state and local chambers across America to host the competition in their communities. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2023. Chambers and businesses interested in participating should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Parents and teachers who wish to see the Civics Bee expand to their local communities can visit https://www.momselect.com/national-civics-bee/ for easy access to sharable tools or contact their local chamber.
“We’ve received a groundswell of support and excitement for increased civic engagement, both inside and outside the classroom,” said Hilary Crow, vice president of civics at the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “This is a national movement in the making. We invite you to join us in shaping a brighter future for America’s next generation.”
For more information about the National Civics Bee, visit https://civics.uschamberfoundation.org/national-civics-bee or to book an interview, please contact Yagmur Cosar at email@example.com.
About the Survey
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation commissioned BSM Media, a leading mom marketing agency, to survey 629 self-identified mothers across the United States in July 2023. The online survey explored topics related to civics, local community involvement and the respondents’ aspirations for their children. A copy of the survey results can be found at https://www.momselect.com/national-civics-bee/media/.
About National Civics Bee
The National Civics Bee, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Civic Trust, is an annual competition aimed at improving civics education and literacy among middle school students, their families, and communities. The National Civics Bee helps elevate civics as a national priority through a network of state and local chambers across the country. The National Civics Bee is made possible through the generous support of its founding partner, the Daniels Fund, and other funders.
About U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation harnesses the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world. We anticipate, develop, and deploy solutions to challenges facing communities—today and tomorrow.