Political pupils: Civics gets renewed attention in schools

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Civics and government lessons are getting renewed attention in U.S. schools after years of decline.

Advocates say the need was highlighted by the tone of this year’s presidential race.

In Connecticut, fifth-graders around the state have been voting for “kid governor” in an effort to spark deeper interest in the workings of government. The winner will be announced next week.

Many efforts are underway elsewhere to restore the role advocates say schools were intended to play in teaching students their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

Nonprofit groups have mobilized volunteers to help high school teachers run action-oriented civics projects and teach the importance of good citizenship.

Illinois, which had been among less than a dozen states without a civics requirement, required at least a semester of instruction for students to graduate beginning this year.