The has announced that it will award $1.4 million in grants in 2013, including recent grants totaling $465,000 in support of civil education and engagement programs for Chicago-area youth between the ages of 12 and 22.
Recipients of first-round grants from the foundation include the , which was awarded $125,000 for its core civic engagement programs Elections in Action, Issues to Action, and Democracy in Action; and the , which will receive $60,000 for its Youth Civic Leadership Academy. The foundation also awarded a two-year grant of $80,000 to the in support of its Chicago Metro History Fair; $100,000 over two years to for teacher development programs and resources that highlight education as a critical tool for strengthening civil societies; and a two-year, $100,000 grant to the for its Our American Voice program, which connects middle school youth to the democratic process through active community problem solving.
"The civic education challenges we are facing here in Illinois and around the country are immense," said John Sirek, civics program director at the McCormick Foundation. "Years of neglect and the ongoing deluge of mandatory testing have all but removed civics from our classrooms. The foundation is committed to increasing the numbers of students receiving high-quality civic-learning opportunities and supporting policy initiatives that bring civics back for all of our students."