Civic Ed Rhode Island













          We the People-Rhode Island is proposing to establish a pilot Civitas exchange program between two Providence, Rhode Island middle schools and school(s) to be determined in the Dominican Republic.


          Providence is Rhode Island’s capital and largest city.  Providence hosts a very large Dominican population.  Although the Dominican population is city-wide, there is a very large concentration of students born in the Republic or first generation in the two targeted middle schools.


          It is important to note that political/cultural environs of the area serviced by the two schools are also Dominican.  For example, the RI state senator representing this area is Senator Juan Pichardo, a native born Dominican.


          The major goal of this program is to link through technology the émigré Dominican student population and others to the culture of the Dominican Republic.  For the students in the Dominican Republic it will be an opportunity to learn about a section of the United States heavily populated with their cultural cousins.


          As the program unfolds by using technology and the Project Citizen, this pilot program helps to accomplish the following:


·        An understanding of different cultures

·        Encourage communication

·        Foster an understanding of how different cultures deal with ordinary problems

·        Encourage students to deal with problems based on democratic principles.


Specific Objectives


          By engaging in the Civitas/Project Citizen process, students will become aware that they do the following:


·        Make a difference in their community

·        Develop a greater understanding of public issues

·        Develop a clearer understanding of challenges facing public officials and policy makers

·        Learn how government works

·        Develop a commitment to active citizenship

·        Learn about specific community problems

·        Learn to work cooperatively

·        Develop the importance of research and communication skills

·        Learn that their voice has meaning to adults


Target Population


          This pilot program has identified two schools to participate in this project.  Gilbert Stuart and Roger Williams Middle Schools are both ethnically/racially mixed and both schools are designated Title I economically disadvantaged schools.


          The teachers involved in the program will be:


Gilbert Stuart       >Patricia Geary, Social Studies Chair, Project Citizen     

            Summer Institute participant;

                                      >Chandra Rodriques, part of RI Project Citizen network

                                      >Dennis Tosoni

                                      >Flor de maria Ribezzo*

                                      >Maria Morais*, part of RI Project Citizen network, and

                                      >Sandy Amaral.  They will team teach the process.



*Flor and Maria will be the program’s Spanish/English – English/Spanish       



Roger Williams    >Christopher Pride


          Although students from Dominican culture will compose a large number of participants, each class will be diverse and reflective of the population of each school.  To help you understand each school, a school description and data developed by the Rhode Island Department of Education is attached.


Program Description


          The program will follow the Project Citizen process with other issues factored into the program.  Teachers will attend workshops to ensure that they understand the goals of this pilot project, the Project Citizen process, added program factors.


          Each teacher will work with one class.  There will be 6 classes and approximately 150 students.  As both students and teachers go through the Project Citizen, they will:


·        Develop a description of their community (a RI adaptation of the Civic Link process)

·        Develop technology skills

·        Share cultural information with their partner school

·        Identify public policy issues

·        Gather information/data

·        Develop a class policy on a public policy issue (for purpose of the exchange, Rhode Island will also develop a power point presentation)

·        Showcase their class portfolios through a simulated legislative hearing and through a community/family night

·        Reflect on the Project Citizen process


Specific Activities


Training – each teacher participant will go through a Project Citizen training process.  This will be conducted by Susan Burt, a national and Rhode Island Project Citizen trainer.  Training objectives will be for teachers to be able to guide/facilitate students to do the following:


·        Gather information about their community

·        Engage in a discussion of public policy

·        Experience a step-by-step approach to Project Citizen

·        Gain practical Project Citizen teaching tips

·        Implement technology linkages to Project Citizen activities

·        Access to guest speakers

·        Develop a sense of comradeship by working cooperatively


Student Resources/Activities

·        Gather information about their community with the program’s disposal digital cameras

·        Develop a Project Citizen portfolio

·        Develop a Project Citizen power point presentation

·        Prepare for the Project Citizen showcase(s)


Mechanisms of Education


          As an integral aspect of assessment activities, this pilot program will use a variety of tools to determine effectiveness.  Among the evaluation measures will be:


·        Teacher assessment of program activities

·        Student reflective essays

·        Parental focus groups (to determine student attitude changes)

·        Project Citizen simulated hearings

·        Project Citizen portfolio assessments

·        Project Citizen Power Point presentation




          In an effort to build sustainability and to be able to “go it alone” without Center for Civic Education funding, this pilot program will need to develop local support for this venture.  To reach this objective, this program proposes to:


·        Send representatives to the Dominican Republic to view schools/programs.

·        Plan with Dominican officials/schools/teachers on how best to proceed.

·        Seek guidance from the Center for Civic Education on how to develop sustainable models.

·        Lobby key Rhode Islanders for funding.


Initial thinking in developing a local plan is to get potential players engaged in

the process.  For example, the Rhode Island exchange representatives will be:


          2 -  Legislators–they control the funding (one of whom will be Senator Pichardo)

          2 -  Public Policy Makers – one from the Rhode Island Department of Education

                                             - one from the Providence School Department

          1 Program Director       (Michael Trofi)


          5 Total









Students at Gilbert Stuart Middle School, Providence, RI, Presenting a Power Point Presentation





School Showcase at Gilbert Stuart Middle School with (L to R) Patricia Geary, Dennis Tosoni, Carlo Gamba, and Sue Burt

Part of a project with a focus on community.

Please review the online Project Citizen Power Point Presentations


Grade 6 Class @ Gilbert Stuart Middle School Class Project


Sleepy kids Spanish.ppt


civitas2  SPANISH.ppt