Civics Programs in Washington, D.C.

A number of programs in Washington, D.C., explain the workings of the national government to a diverse range of Americans, from middle school students to senior citizens. This report highlights six of the most popular programs.

Order Code 97-742 C Updated July 25, 2002 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Civics Programs in Washington, D.C. Susan Watkins Greenfield Information Research Specialist Information Research Division Summary A number of programs in Washington, D.C., explain the workings of the national government to a diverse range of Americans, from middle school students to senior citizens. This report highlights six of the most popular programs. The Congressional Research Service does not endorse or recommend any organization or program. This report will be updated yearly. For a guide to short-term or summer housing in Washington, see CRS Report RS20505, Coming to Washington, D.C.? Sources of Information on Temporary Housing. Background The costs of these civics programs typically range from $500 to more than $1,000, not including transportation to Washington, D.C. Although some offer financial help, many suggest that participants raise funds in their home communities. Interested persons should inquire with specific programs about costs, available scholarships, and application forms and procedures. Internet addresses have been included for these programs. To evaluate an organization’s reputation, contact the following: Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc. Charity Reports 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800 Arlington, VA 22203 [] National Committee on Contests and Activities of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) 1904 Association Drive Reston, VA 20191-1537 [] Tel: (703) 276-0100 Tel: (703) 860-0200 Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress CRS-2 The NASSP produces an annual Student Contests and Activities National Advisory List of educational programs that interested persons may use to identify a wide variety of program opportunities. Programs Close Up Foundation 44 Canal Center Plaza Alexandria, VA 22314-1592 [] Tel: (800) 256-7387 This nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization began in 1970. It offers programs for middle school (grades 6-8) and high school students and their teachers, as well as for senior citizens. Congressional Youth Leadership Council 1110 Vermont Avenue, N.W., Suite 320 Washington, D.C. 20005 [] Tel: (202) 638-0008 Begun in 1985, this nonprofit, nonpartisan civics educational organization offers three programs for high school students: ! National Young Leaders Conference ! Global Young Leaders Conference ! Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference (during presidential inaugural years only) National Youth Leadership Forum 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20006 [] Tel: (202) 347-4036 This nonprofit educational organization, founded in 1992, offers three programs in Washington, D.C.: ! National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine ! National Youth Leadership Forum on Law ! National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense, Intelligence, and Diplomacy Presidential Classroom 119 Oronoco Street Alexandria, VA 22314 [] Tel: (800) 441-6533 Started in 1968, the Presidential Classroom Scholars Program provides a week-long overview of the nation’s government to high school students. Also offered are these five special focus programs designed to give students in-depth exposure to policy areas of national importance: the Global Business, E-Commerce and Public Policy Program; the CRS-3 Future World Leaders Summit; the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program; the Media and Democracy Program; and the Law and Justice in a Democracy Program. United States Senate Youth Program William Randolph Hearst Foundation 90 New Montgomery Street, Suite 1212 San Francisco, CA 94015-4504 [] Tel: (415) 543-4057 (800) 841-7048 Begun in 1962, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation provides an all-expensepaid week in Washington, D.C., for two high school student leaders from each state, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Education Activity to observe the federal government in action and meet key officials. Delegates, who must be elected student officers or school representatives, are selected by education officials in each state. Each student receives a $5,000 college scholarship for undergraduate studies. This program has early fall deadlines. Washington Workshops Foundation 3222 N Street, N.W., Suite 340 Washington, D.C. 20007 [] Tel: (800) 368-5688 Started in 1967, this private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational foundation offers four programs for young people interested in the workings of national government: ! Congressional Seminar ! Diplomacy and Global Affairs Seminar ! Junior High/Middle School Seminar (grades 7-9) ! Advanced Congressional Seminar/Capitol Hill Internships