Gregg Amore's Policy

Civics Education

Rhode Island’s history is a treasure – not just to Rhode Islanders but to the entire nation. As one of the first states we have on hand original versions of some of our founding documents including the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. That is in addition to the already-on-display Royal Charter of 1638. Through access to these documents we are able to connect where our state is today with everything that has come before. 

My goal is to better integrate these invaluable historical records into our school curriculum and ensure that each and every teacher and student has access. I hope that our educators continue to build a sense of civic engagement and sense of community that comes from recognizing our shared role in continuing the Lively Experiment that is Rhode Island. To accomplish this I believe we can provide more efficient and direct access to our archives for teachers and students. Many of our documents need to continue to be digitized and “translated” for modern use, including making them searchable and readable for our digital age. 

While it may be ambitious, I would like to further the discussion of establishing a museum for Rhode Islanders and tourists alike to connect with Rhode Island’s history. Rhode Islanders deserve a public monument to our history and the unique contributions we have made to the entire nation.

As an acknowledgement of the importance of our teachers of civics and government, I will establish the Secretary of State’s Civics Teacher of the Year Award. 

As a history teacher, I know how important civic engagement is for democracy. It is more important than ever to help young people connect to the world around them, develop a sense of community and learn how to make an impact on the issues that matter most to them. Should I be elected, there are two programs that I intend to implement to engage our young people.

The first would be to create a program where we would work with every Rhode Island high school and college/university to give them an opportunity to designate a staff and student liaison to the Department of State to help promote voter registration and to share information. These liaisons would play an active role in designing voter registration outreach plans for their school community, and they can help create curriculum and lessons based on primary documents available through the state archives. I will also encourage these liaisons to establish relationships with the Elections team, the staff at the RI State Archives, and the Department of State, in order to support their voter engagement programs and archive related curriculum needs and inquiries. 

The second is to bring back the program called Project Insight. Project Insight is based on the popular national government and civics emersion program, Project Close Up, designed for high school juniors and seniors. The program engages high school students from around the state in a four day intensive program that involves them in the inner workings of their state government by exposing them to lawmakers, committee hearings, the judicial system, lobbyists, administration officials and other government officials.  Students gather in workshops at the end of each day to discuss the day’s activities and design action plans around some of the major public policy questions facing the state. Project Insight is a once in a lifetime opportunity designed to inspire and empower students to become active participants in our democracy.

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