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Denise W. Merrill Secretary of the State Connecticut - Seal


Red, White, and Blue Schools Program Recognizes Two Connecticut Schools, One District For 2021-2022

(HARTFORD) - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker, and Rebecca Taber, Director of Connecticut History Day at the Connecticut Democracy at Connecticut’s Old State House, recognized two schools, and one school district, for their implementation of the Red, White, and Blue Schools program today.

The goal of the Red, White, and Blue Schools Program is to increase the innovative teaching of civics and government in Connecticut and emphasize the importance of active and informed citizenship throughout students’ education in a collection of ways to spur whole-life community engagement.

The program, first launched in 2016 under Secretary Merrill and then-Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell, a former teacher in the South Windsor Public School system, is available to all K-12 schools in the state.

Students participating in Red, White, and Blue Schools study local issues, plan solutions, and implement their plans.

“A proven method of getting students involved and engaged civically is to introduce them to government at the state and local levels,” said Commissioner Russell-Tucker. “Showing all students the difference they can make is a key way to ignite their passion for civic engagement, that’s why programs such as the Red, White, and Blue Schools are so critical.”

“Good teachers really make a difference in teaching the students the information and coming up with creative ways to do it,” Secretary Merrill said. “Right now, more than ever, our democracy needs informed citizens. I’m proud of the students in the program for doing their part.”

“Here at the Democracy Center our mission really focuses on the intersection of history and civics, and we really pride ourselves on providing a lifetime pathway to involvement in civics, so we’re really proud and happy to work collaboratively with the Department of Education and with the Secretary of the State’s office on the Red, White, and Blue Schools Program,” Taber said.

There are different themes each year. The theme for 2021-2022 was “Local Elections and Government.”

The following schools/districts are being recognized for meeting the criteria of a Red, White, and Blue School.

Charles Flynn and students: Andrew Warde High School, Fairfield
Annie Tucci and students: Ridgefield High School
Sara Slogesky: South Windsor Public Schools (districtwide recognition)

In 2017-18, South Windsor was recognized as a Red, White, and Blue School for demonstrating how students connected with issues of importance to the community.

Warde High received special recognition for finding creative ways to engage the most students in the community and made the most of the resources available to them.

Essential resources and teaching materials for educators, such as sample lessons and rubrics describing the components of a respective year’s Red, White, and Blue Schools program and theme, are posted on the Social Studies page of the State Department of Education’s website. For a look at the program criteria for K-5, please click here. The program criteria for grades 6-12 can be found here.


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