Exciting news, friends! In the Spring of 2017, The Lou Frey Institute (LFI) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida (BGCCF) established a partnership, designed to help implement and support the creation of a Civic Action Project (CAP) Program in BGCCF’s After School Zone for middle school students. This program was adapted for middle schools and after-school environments from the original Civics Action Project first developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Since the launch of this effort, over 100 middle school students have participated in the CAP program, where they identify a community issue or problem of interest to them, research it, and propose a detailed plan for how to address it. In support of these students and their facilitators is the Institute’s Civics Instructional Specialist, Chris Spinale. Participating students attend a Civic Education Showcase on the UCF campus where they present their projects and findings to community stakeholders and policy makers. 

Because of the hard work of BGCCF staff, site facilitators, CAP teachers, and their club members, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida’s Civic Action Project Program for the After School Zone was named the recipient of the 2020 Best Overall Program Impact Excellence Award for the State of Florida by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) and Florida Area Council. 

CAP took home the prize for the State of Florida as the overall standout program among all the Boys & Girls Club programs in the state. Kelvin Curry, Director of Middle School Programs for BGCCF, thanked LFI for its partnership and all it has afforded their club members. 

Both LFI and BGCCF are committed to continuing the hard work of cultivating a citizenry that is informed, engaged, and active. Questions about the program can be directed to LFI Interim Director Steve Masyada (Stephen.masyada@ucf.edu) or Civics Instructional Specialist Chris Spinale (Christopher.spinale@ucf.edu).