Our American Voice® (OAV) is an innovative, ethics-driven, leadership program that helps students develop a deeper understanding of the American democratic process and prepares them for civic life and community engagement.

OAV is centered on four core principles:

  • Citizenship is a way of life.
  • With our rights and freedoms come responsibilities.
  • The success of the individual and the community are mutually dependent: “E Pluribus Unum”.
  • The informed participation of the people shapes and sustains our democracy.

The two-part OAV program empowers students to appreciate the critical role citizens play in a democratic society and explore how they can work together to solve specific issues and create positive change within their communities.

Part I Active Citizenship features a civics curriculum that helps students recognize the origin and development of the core values that are the basis of our democracy. Within each of the four core principles, there are content strands with activities at three different levels–beginning, intermediate, advanced–allowing facilitators to align content focus and depth to student prior knowledge.

Part II Community Action features a collaborative group project during which students become engaged in civic action, converting problems to issues to action strategies, ultimately developing and implementing a plan to affect change in their school or local community.

In a time when the lack of civic education is reaching a crisis point in our schools and communities, OAV fills the void by providing an innovative and interactive, action-learning module where teachers provide guidance, allowing students the opportunity to collaborate, explore, and handle the work. Our approach encourages the students to fully understand the need for a public voice and appreciate their rights as citizens.

OAV inspires students to exercise their rights, uphold their responsibilities, and to embrace community membership by seeking solutions to an issue not just with supporters but also with those who may disagree. As they work on their issue, the students learn critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills.

OAV programs share these common characteristics:

  • Highly trained, committed program staff that are supported by the community.
  • Access to local government officials and elected representatives who engage with the youth on a regular basis
 contributing to their learning, sense of self-worth and success of the project.
  • Involvement by the students, educators, parents, and the entire community.

Interested in bringing OAV to your school or district? Contact us.