Our country was founded by a group of uncommon people, setting out to do something uncommon in their day: create a system of self-government that was dependent on the will of the people.
Today, we are pleased to introduce the newest addition to the Healthy Choices, Healthy Children brand: Civics & Leadership. As we have said from the beginning, HCHC is a vehicle to begin dialogue between youth and caring adults. While some conversations may begin with the basics of baseball, it is our hope that many will end in a much more meaningful way. Perhaps that includes discussing the importance of physical fitness. Maybe a conversation about turning a double play turns into a discussion on saving money. Or, perhaps, a discussion centering on the basics of hitting will end with a coach discussing how he or she plans to vote in an upcoming election.
Nearly everything we do at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation is centered on the belief that all kids deserve inspiration. HCHC: Civics and Leadership is not exclusive of this belief. This new tool is designed to inspire kids, not to be political figures (or so if they choose), but rather to inspire them to ask questions.
· Why does our government work as it does?
· Who represents my opinion?
· How can I find out more about the topics that interest me?
Written in collaboration with our friends at the Close Up Foundation, HCHC: Civics & Leadership is a kid-friendly guide aimed at encouraging all youth to do two very basic yet important things:
1. Become informed about important issues
2. Participate, both formally through elections, and informally through dialogue with friends, family, coaches, and mentors
We encourage you to review the material and begin the discussion with youth on your team or at your club. Remember, a core principle of the “Ripken Way” is to Have Fun! We encourage you to use this tool in a fun way that both informs and inspires kids.
Lastly, we encourage you to share in the responsibility we all have – the responsibility to participate in our system of government. Whether through your own actions or by beginning discussions with kids, each of us has a responsibility to be actively engaged in our civic process.
This country was built on the ideals that every man and woman has the ability and freedom to chart their own course, to choose their own path, to work towards a dream of their choosing. From Maine to Michigan – from teacher to truck driver – every American that has the desire has the pathway to a successful life. Join us in continuing this great legacy by beginning the conversation with your kids, they will after all, become the next generation of uncommon leaders.
*If you have just stumbled across this, all you need to do to access all our materials is to create your free account and then watch the Classroom Introduction video! The Civics & Leadership Edition can be found on the Materials page under HCHC.