About

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A large building with three large American flag banners hung between pillars

Fourth of July banners hang from the Constitution Avenue side of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on June 30, 2016, in preparation of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. NARA photo by Brogan Jackson.

Fourth of July banners hang from the Constitution Avenue side of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on June 30, 2016, in preparation of the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. NARA photo by Brogan Jackson.

Civics for All of US is a new education initiative from the National Archives. Our mission is to build civic literacy and engagement by providing exemplary civic education resources and programs for all ages using the records of the U.S. Government.  

As the nation’s record keeper and home of the founding documents of the United States, the National Archives is uniquely positioned to promote civic literacy and engagement. By studying examples of civic engagement in the past, Americans will better understand their rights and responsibilities and be prepared to participate in their communities in the present. Civic education at the National Archives engages audiences with primary sources that shed light on the successes, failures, debates, and challenges in the history of our democracy. The initiative is committed to sharing diverse perspectives and historically underrepresented voices.

Civics for All of US delivers thought-provoking educational programs and powerful educational resources to the public, regardless of their proximity to a National Archives facility. Each program is led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites, the Center for Legislative Archives, and Presidential Libraries across the country.

Civics for All of US is built around five questions:

  • How do I benefit from civic knowledge and engagement?
  • What tools are available for us to engage in our democracy?
  • How have these tools been used by others in the past?
  • How can I use these tools in my own life?
  • How does the United States benefit from civic engagement?

These questions will guide us as we explore the big ideas of the founding documents and discover the power we all have to make a difference as an important part of "We the People."

Current Offerings:

Live, interactive distance learning programs are available for groups of 10 or more students free of charge. Each program is led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites, the Center for Legislative Archives, and Presidential Libraries across the country. Programs take a hands-on approach to the founding documents of the United States, using the holdings of the National Archives to explore the big ideas of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and promoting the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century. Teacher guides for each program provide additional pre- and post program activities for classroom use.

Our by-request programs are also offered as regularly scheduled interactive webinars. Registration is required, but unlike our by-request programs mentioned above, there is no minimum attendance prerequisite for student webinars.

Free, regularly scheduled professional development workshops for educators explore how to use primary sources to delve into the big ideas of the founding documents of the United States. During each interactive program, participants will engage with primary sources and partake in collaborative group work and discussion to discover how to use National Archives resources and programs to teach civic knowledge and skills.