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Connecticut State Department of Education News


Red, White and Blue Schools Program Recognizes 17 Connecticut Schools

(East Hartford) - Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today recognized 17 schools, including three school districts, for their implementation of the Red, White and Blue Schools program.  This initiative stresses the importance of teaching civics throughout students’ educations in varied and innovative ways in order to encourage whole-life community engagement. This school year is the program’s second year with the 2017-18 theme centered on “Engagement at the Local Level”. The Red, White and Blue Schools’ theme for the 2018-2019 school year - “Exploring Our Local Historical Roots” – was also announced.

 “We are preparing our students to become fully informed, responsible and active citizens through innovative, relevant and engaging curricula that will inspire them to take social studies out of the classroom and into their local communities,” said Commissioner Wentzell. “Congratulations to this year’s Red, White and Blue Schools participants for all of their great work.”

 “The Red, White and Blue Schools program is designed to engage students in the civic life of their community, to foster a life time of community involvement,” said Secretary Merrill.  “This year, it is especially heartening to see a focus on local civic interactions, and I am so proud of the amazing work done by all the participating students, schools, and districts.”

 Red, White and Blue Schools was launched in 2016 as a partnership between the State Department of Education and the Office of the Secretary of the State to increase the innovative teaching of civics and government in Connecticut. The program is available to all K-12 schools in Connecticut and emphasizes the importance of active and informed citizenship. Students participating in Red, White and Blue Schools study local issues, plan solutions, and implement their plans. Participating schools will be encouraged to take original approaches to teaching civics in the classroom and to consider involving extracurricular activities that also promote civic and community engagement.

 This year, schools were recognized as Red, White and Blue Schools for demonstrating how students connected with issues of importance to their communities. Students did so in several ways, including fundraising for local projects, developing an app for their town, and organizing an event celebrating town history, among others. The schools achieving recognition as Red, White and Blue Schools for the 2017-18 school year are:

  • Enfield K-12 Schools
  • Glastonbury K-12 Schools
  • South Windsor K-12 Schools
  • William J. Johnston Middle School, Colchester
  • Windsor Locks Middle School

 Schools that found creative ways to engage the most students in their local community were given special recognition to acknowledge that these schools made the most of the resources at their disposal. Schools receiving special recognition are:

  • Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge
  • Dr. Thomas S. O’Connell Elementary School, East Hartford
  • Fairfield Warde High School

 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 State Department of Education’s website.

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Peter Yazbak
Communications Director