For most of the year, Civitas programs focus on international issues. Although there is a need for students to learn about current events, diplomacy, and United Nations related things, there is also a need for students to understand and explore the city they live in. During the summer, we provide such a way for students to learn about the St. Louis area and the many unique challenges and boons the region has. We call this program Urban Go-Team.
There is a reason it’s called Go-Team. Because students are out of school, we can take the time to study a local issue in-depth. Instead of reading about an event in a text book, we can visit the location, talk to the key players, do hands-on research, and create projects that showcase critical thinking skills. Students get an opportunity to go places they might not usually have access to and talk to local leaders and experts on a variety of topics.
Urban Go-Team is usually a week long and takes place in June. (Although we often try to incorporate some of the field trips and speakers into the school year as well.) It’s free to a small, hand selected group of high school students.
In 2016, our topic will be Inside Politics.
|2016: Inside Politics
Click here to see student daily wrap ups from Go-Team 2016.
|2015: Law & Disorder
Students got a chance to learn about how the Justice System in St. Louis works. They attended a mini-police academy, spoke with protestors and activists, sat in on a court session and spoke to some judges, surveyed citizens about their feelings on crime in the region, and had a bus tour of Ferguson. Click here to see a special blog about Law & Disorder
|2014: Adventures in Elections & Voting
Highlights included street polling in downtown St. Louis, a view of elections from the St. Louis Board of Elections, a panel discussion with elected officials about what is involved in winning elections, and student production of campaign video commercials. Click here to see a special blog for Adventures in Elections & Voting
|2012: Politics in St. Louis and Beyond
Students went behind the scenes to see how elections really work. They acted as political pollsters, and even made their own political ads.
|2011: The Many Faces of Capitalism
Civitas Urban Go-Team 2011 took students inside and behind the scenes of some the big-name corporations, local shops, unions and small companies who are the pulse of St. Louis’ economy.
|2010: St Louis--What's Working, What's Not
About a dozen students traveled all around St. Louis, visiting at-risk neighborhoods, and neighborhoods on the rise, looking for evidence of the problems that bring cities down, and seeking out creative solutions keep hope alive.
Students conducted public-opinion surveys; visited Old North St. Louis restoration area, an urban garden, and Crown Candy Kitchen; and visited Confluence Park, where the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers meet; and more.
|2009: The Great Recession's Impact on Neighborhoods and the Economy
Students examined how St. Louis government, business community, and everyday people coped with the recession.
Two prep sessions in April and May. The first was an introduction to economic issues, followed up street polling and surveying small businesses in the University City Loop. The second was a scavenger hunt in the innner-ring suburb of Maplewood, and a tour of Hadley Township (See Go-Team 2007), an area in Maplewood that had been slated for redevelopment which had been put on hold repeatedly.
|2008: Making Elections Work
Taking place during a presidential election year, this Go-team focused on how elections operate, how public-opinion polling plays a role the elections process, and how young people can get involved to influence and improve the American democratic system. The program ran out of the ProVote/SEIU office in the Skinker-Debaliviere neighborhood.
|2007: Show Me the Money in St. Louis
Go-Team 2007 honed in on commercial development, specifically in the Hadley Township/Maplewood Richmond Heights area, an inner-ring suburban community in St. Louis county. Students examined issues like developer-community relationships, the politics of urban planning, and the issue of neighborhood displacement emerged, along with other issues at the intersection of economics and community.
|2003: Urban Studies Seminar - A Bird's-Eye View of St. Louis
The first full-length Civitas Urban Studies Seminar covered the pros and cons of development and sprawl. Students visited a diverse variety of urban and suburban communities and interact with a wide range of stakeholders--from urban planners and government leaders to environmentalists and commercial development.
|2002: Disparity Between Rich & the Poor in STL
5-day program with 6 students from Maplewood-Richmond Heights High School. Following the program, several students participated in community activities focused on the proposed development of Wal-Mart in Maplewood. Students also took a look at how resources (or a lack of) effected other municipalities.