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Wyoming Department of Education launches Civics Ed Center

Desks sit in rows in front of a whiteboard and blackboard.

This story is part of our Quick Hits series. This series will bring you breaking news and short updates from throughout the state.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Dr. Jason McConnell helped lead the sub-cabinet in curating resources for the Civics Ed Center. Barb Marquer helped lead the sub-cabinet's curation process.

The Wyoming Department of Education (WDE), in collaboration with the University of Wyoming’s Malcolm Wallop Civic Engagement Program, launched the Civics Ed Center on July 1.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder said that the center is part of the goal stated in her 2023-27 WDE Strategic Plan to develop citizenship for students.

"We must bring back patriotism in schools, and this initiative is a critical tool in that effort,” said Degenfelder in a written statement.

The center will offer online resources to educators, parents and others who want to provide a more comprehensive civics education for students.

Degenfelder said that the resources are aligned with the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards and the State Board of Education’s Profile of a Graduate. She added that the resources are designed to complement civics lessons that are already provided by district schools.

The center's resources were curated by a sub-cabinet consisting of sixteen members, led by Dr. Jean Garrison and Barb Marquer, WDE standards supervisor.

Modules listed on the site include titles like "Understand how our governing structures operate," "Engage appropriately in civil discourse across a variety of cultures and beliefs," and "Discern the credibility of information and content from a variety of sources," to name a few. When Wyoming Public Media visited the course offerings on July 2, only the titles were accessible.

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

David Dudley is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, WyoFile, and the Wyoming Truth, among many others. David was a Guggenheim Crime in America Fellow at John Jay College from 2020-2023. During the past 10 years, David has covered city and state government, business, economics and public safety beats for various publications. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.

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