Students in schools across the country are now able to learn about county government through an online game and curriculum that the National Association of Counties (NACo) created in partnership with iCivics, Inc.
The game, "Counties Work," will educate students, grades 6 through 12, about the important role and functions of county government by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and "webquest" have also been developed to assist teachers with preparing lessons on county government.
While playing the game, a student takes on the role of a county official responsible for providing services, dealing with citizen requests, setting and raising revenues, and working within a budget. Along the way, students will learn about the various services provided by county departments while having to make tough decisions.
Created under the leadership of NACo Past-President Glen Whitley and his initiative "County Government Works", the online game is just one of the many projects that will serve as a long-lasting benefit to assist counties in raising public awareness of county government.
"This is a great opportunity for students to better understand the programs and services that counties provide," Whitley said. "We need to get students to play the game. I encourage county officials to contact teachers, principals and school superintendents in your county to let them know the game is available at: www.naco.org/CountiesWork."
iCivics is a Web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in America's democracy. iCivics was the vision of retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support.