Serving students and educators since 2002, Speak Up Speak Out is an innovative civic education program designed to teach third grade through high school students about their communities and equip them with the tools to make a difference.
Speak Up Speak Out participants work together as teams to identify community problems, craft innovative solutions that address them, and compete for the chance to present their findings to community leaders at the State Civics Fair each February. Winning teams receive funds to use toward the implementation of their solutions.
Engage in Professional Development
Professional development opportunities for educators interested in Speak Up Speak Out are offered each summer. These six-hour trainings enhance educators' instructional practices in implementing action civics in their classrooms through student-driven research, action, and reflection. As part of the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, Speak Up Speak Out is a certified educational provider (TEA 902-579) and CPE credit is eligible with district approval. Districts and schools interested in professional development may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Empower Student Voices
This civic education project encourages students to become active participants in their communities. The distinguishing element of Speak Up Speak Out is that the students are responsible for determining the issues that will be addressed and for developing viable solutions that they implement.
Collaborate, Solve, and Share
Over the course of the semester, small student groups work together to research their communities, select an interesting and motivating problem, and develop projects, proposals, and/or solutions to present to the community. Students submit video presentations of their projects to the semifinals at the end of the fall semester and 60 teams from across Texas are invited to present their solutions in-person at the State Civics Fair in February.
Students are encouraged to use their diverse talents, experiences, and ideas to develop their projects. Speak Up Speak Out gives students the opportunity to learn how to become active citizens and to become storytellers to share their message with community leaders.