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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A program bringing civics into classrooms shows elementary school is not too young to make a difference in the world. Eden Cho is guiding 5th graders through the fundamentals of civics at Francis Scott Key School in South Philly.
Eden prompted the class, “We have to do our?”
“Research,” said the class.
Eden said she wants the students, “To take a step back and think about the world and think about social issues.”
She is part of the Young Heroes Outreach Program, a year-long social impact project sponsored by the National Liberty Museum.
“It’s just crucial right now that our next voters and leaders understand all the issues involved in what the government is doing in our country,” said Jean Byrne, the National Liberty Museum’s Director of Education and Outreach.
During the program, kids are brainstorming and writing a list of social issues that matter to them in four categories, the world, the country, the city, and their own neighborhood and school. They will vote on which issues will become their project.
“I chose girls rights because I actually am a girl,” said 11-year-old Saris Thon. “Girls should have the same opportunities as guys do.”
Community volunteers, like Tom LaCroix, help the students with their final plan.
Last year, he helped students paint Rowan Elementary School, and Young Heroes from Duckrey Elementary successfully lobbied Philadelphia City Council for money to build an updated playground.
“I just remember I was playing with Matchbox cars at age nine and these kids are building playgrounds,” said Tom. “It’s amazing.”
“That’s such a rewarding experience, that they’re really gaining all the lessons we’re talking about and apply it to the real world,” said Eden.
Eleven-year-old Christopher Ramos says it’s helping the world.
“It can help the world because they can send notes to government and change the laws or different things,” said Ramos.
The program is now in 18 Philadelphia schools, teaching kids that civics is for them too.
In June, the students celebrate with a civics fair.