The Sandra Day O’Connor Institute has launched a new transformational initiative to bring its educational programs online, O’Connor U.
The initiative provides innovative civics education opportunities through a digital platform, teaching “Civics For Life” to all generations, from middle school students to grandparents, according to a press release.
Since its founding by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the nonprofit organization has presented programs to highlight the importance of civic engagement, civics education and civil discourse.
Programs have included lectures and forums, such as the Distinguished Speakers Series, Annual History Dinner, Issues & Answers Forums, and Civic Collaboratories, as well as the Camp O’Connor civics program for middle school students.
Through these educational programs, all generations have been exposed to the knowledge and insight of countless authors, educators and leaders. O’Connor U and the O’Connor Institute will continue to offer these knowledge resources in an easily accessible digital platform.
As part of the O’Connor U initiative, a new, online program will be launching in June: Camp O’Connor Civics Challenge. This online competition will be open to all students across the country entering sixth through ninth grade in fall 2020.
Students will be challenged to choose one civics topic from a list of options, receive instructions, and then produce a creative video on that topic, three minutes or less in length. Winners will be awarded Apple products, the press release stated.
Borne out of the current pandemic and the need to continue to offer civics education opportunities, O’Connor U will expand and complement the O’Connor Institute’s spectrum of experiential educational programs. In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic and to ensure the safety of the communities served by the O’Connor Institute, the 2020 in person Camp O’Connor sessions in Phoenix and Denver, Colorado have been postponed to summer 2021.
Donations to support O’Connor U and the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute are welcomed to ensure the sustainability of its educational programs. For more information or to make a contribution, visit OConnorInstitute.org.
The Camp #OConnorCivicsChallenge will be an annual opportunity for students to learn about civics topics that cover all branches of the government and responsibilities as citizens, then share what they’ve learned with others through their video creations.
Civics Challenge video entries may be submitted between July 1 to July 30. To receive advance information, students are encouraged to join the interest list at OConnorInstitute.org and be notified when the Civics Challenge topics are announced in June.
A second significant online O’Connor U initiative is the recently launched Sandra Day O’Connor Digital Library and Resource Center. Offering the most comprehensive repository of materials from Justice O’Connor’s lifetime and career, it befits a history-making American icon to ensure that the legacy of America’s first female Supreme Court justice will be easily accessible for all generations into the future.
Students, members of the legal community and all who are interested in Justice O’Connor’s storied life are encouraged to log on to the O’Connor Institute website to explore the abundant resources available.