What We Do
CIVIX provides experiential learning opportunities to help young Canadians practice their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Instead of studying about democracy, they experience it first-hand with pertinent issues in real-time.
By practicing the habits of informed and engaged citizenship at an early age and nurturing these habits throughout adolescence, students will be more inclined and prepared to participate in their democracy when they reach voting age.
We work with educators to deliver programs in elementary and secondary schools across Canada. We offer resources and innovative approaches so that educators can easily and effectively teach democracy and citizenship. Working within the school system allows us to reach all demographics, including those less likely to be engaged in our democracy and political system.
We have been working within the education system for the last 10 years, collaborating with teachers and education stakeholders. We have developed strong and supportive relationships with electoral agencies, as well as ministries of education and other government departments across the country. We are the trusted partner when it comes to elections, democracy and engaging students.
Student Vote is a parallel election for students under the voting age, coinciding with official election periods. Participants learn about the electoral process, political parties and issues, and participate in an authentic vote on the official local candidates. The Student Vote election results are shared with media for broadcast and publication following the close of the official polls.
The purpose is to provide young Canadians with an opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand and practice the habits of informed and engaged citizenship.
Since 2003, our team has conducted 31 Student Vote programs: 5 federal, 19 provincial, 3 territorial and 4 municipal. In total, these programs have reached over 10 thousand schools and 3 million students across Canada.
Student Budget Consultation:
The Student Budget Consultation is a civic education initiative that provides students with an opportunity to learn about the government’s revenues and expenditures, dialogue about important political issues and offer their insights on the upcoming budget. The opinions of students are collected through a survey and the results are shared with the Department or Ministry of Finance.
This program is linked to a wide variety of subject areas, including: citizenship education, social studies and government, personal finance, economics, current affairs, media literacy and critical thinking. The program aims to increase knowledge about government and public policy, improve financial literacy and encourage informed and active citizenship.
To date, CIVIX has engaged high school students in four Student Budget Consultations. Five thousand students participated in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 federal consultations and 1,300 were engaged in the Ontario consultation in 2012.
- 2015 Federal Student Budget Consultation Results
- 2014 Federal Student Budget Consultation Results
- 2013 Federal Student Budget Consultation Results
- 2012 Ontario Student Budget Consultation Results
Rep Day is a nationwide civic education initiative that connects elected representatives with high school students to encourage dialogue on current political issues. Rep Day aims to break down negative stereotypes that young people have of politicians and the political process and for students to develop a better understanding of and sense of trust in the people and institutions within our democracy.
Since 2013, CIVIX has partnered with Elections Canada to deliver the federal Rep Day project in schools across the country. During the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, more than 30% of Members of Parliament from all parties visited 166 schools for substantive dialogue on current affairs and issues of importance to students.
We are currently scheduling Rep Days for the 2015-2016 school year. Click here to register!
Based on post-program assessments and third party evaluations, teachers sometimes lack the knowledge, confidence and interest to take on the Student Vote program – and that the Student Vote experience is greatly improved by an engaged and informed teacher.
Democracy Bootcamp is a professional learning conference for elementary and secondary school teachers designed to improve their democratic engagement and instructional capacity, and enhance their delivery of the Student Vote program.
Our first Democracy Bootcamp was organized in April 2011 and brought together over 300 Ontario teachers in advance of the fall provincial election. Democracy Bootcamps were held in British Columbia and Ontario in the spring of 2015 to prepare teachers for the federal election.