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LBHS Receives Award of Merit for Civic Education Program

Seventeen OC schools recognized for efforts to engage students in civic learning

Laguna Beach High School was recently recognized with a Civic Learning Award of Merit from the California Courts system for its civic learning practices in Advanced Placement (AP) European History and its Model United Nations (MUN) program.

Now in its seventh year, the program was established in 2013 to celebrate schools that deeply engage students in civic learning, and to identify at each grade level effective models that can be replicated. The award is co-sponsored by California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and the state superintendent of public instruction.

To be selected for recognition, schools must demonstrate evidence of engaging students in civic education through discussion of current issues and events, service learning, formal instruction as part of a required class, and extracurricular activities with the purpose of improving the school or community.

Students in Advanced Placement European History are being empowered with the knowledge and the tools they will need for informed civic action now and in the future,” said Laguna Beach High School World History and Advanced Placement European History teacher, Heather Hanson. “In this course, they study the causes and effects of poverty throughout European history, and then in small groups choose one topic related to their studies that they would like to address. They must develop an action plan, perform ten hours of service, and reflect on their learning. This requires students to make deeper connections to what they’re learning, and it gives them an opportunity to make a difference in their own communities.”

Civic Learning Awardees are selected annually by a panel of experts based on the depth and breadth of their civic learning classes, clubs, and programs. For more information about the program, or to see a complete list of the winners,

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