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Even in Summer, Freedom Matters to Students

June 28, 2016 by Christopher Walsh
What a thrill it was that the group of 25 or so young people were enthusiastic about concepts of freedom and the stories of people struggling for liberty around the world.

A few weeks back, I was asked to share the Bush Institute’s Human Freedom Initiative with a group of Texas high 

school students participating in Camp 43, a summer leadership course offered by the Bush Library. What a thrill it was that the group of 25 or so young people were enthusiastic about concepts of freedom and the stories of people struggling for liberty around the world. 

Unfortunately, not all students are so engaged on topics of leadership, freedom, and general civics. That’s why the Institute developed Freedom Matters!, a supplemental curriculum that helps students connect the foundations of freedom to today’s global struggles for liberty.

National assessment data reveals that only 24 percent of high school seniors in the United States are “proficient” in civics, a trend going back more than a decade.  That’s simply not sustainable for a free society whose life blood is informed participation from its citizenry.

It’s exciting that this resource is already finding audiences. This past school year, North Texas’ Lovejoy Independent School District incorporated Freedom Matters! into “Celebrate Freedom Week.” Each fall, students in Texas public schools study their country’s founding documents and the principles of freedom.  Lovejoy ISD students used the curriculum to explore liberty in their own country and the experience of freedom and democracy around the world.

Freedom Matters! can be viewed here and downloaded free-of-charge. 


Author

Christopher Walsh
Christopher Walsh

Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute.  In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight. 

Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.

A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies.  He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.

Full Bio

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