Close Up was founded to help students better understand their own democracy.
For nearly 50 years, we have strived to fulfill our mission by inspiring, empowering, and engaging young people and educators from across the United States and the world.
Close Up launches the Austin Academy youth summit for migrant students in Austin, TX.
Close Up becomes a founding member of the Alliance for Teaching Democracy to support the work of teachers around the country, alongside National Council for the Social Studies, the League of Women Voters, CIRCLE and iCivics.
Close Up begins a partnership with the National Indian Education Association to provide programming to students from tribes across the country. More than 3,000 participants witness history at the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Close Up begins programming in New York City for high school students and in Philadelphia for middle school students.
Close Up begins a partnership with Freedom Forum focusing on aspiring high school journalism students. The inauguration of President George W. Bush draws 4,500 participants—the largest Washington program to date.
Two Close Up alums are elected as Members of Congress–Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Representative Adam Smith (D-WA).
Close Up launches its first program for middle school students.
More than 2,000 students and teachers participate on Close Up’s Inauguration Program, witnessing President George H.W. Bush take the oath of office. This is the largest single Close Up program to date.
Close Up launches the first Program for New Americans to serve recently immigrated and migrant students.
Close Up programs reach students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
President Ronald Reagan speaks to Close Up students during his first term in office.
Close Up’s first C-SPAN show is produced.
Close Up, which now includes participants from 26 states, begins its teacher program, providing educators with valuable professional development opportunities in Washington.
President Gerald Ford speaks to Close Up students the same year we welcome our 10,000th participant.
The first Close Up Washington program is conducted with 554 students and teachers from Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Close Up exists to help young people become informed and engaged citizens.
Our unique approach engages students in the democratic process through current issue debates, collaborative learning, and the development of citizenship skills in order to help students become active and involved in our country’s political process.
Our multi-partisan approach encourages students to learn about different perspectives and develop critical thinking skills.
Our students come from all walks of life, including urban, suburban, and rural communities, as well as those from a wide range of racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds. This diversity creates a dynamic learning environment where our students can discuss and debate the policy issues impacting our nation today.
We are committed to helping all students find their voice.
Critical to our mission is facilitating the participation of students from all communities, including socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. All participation is made possible through the efforts of partnerships with parents, schools, teachers, and generous donors nationwide.
As a government teacher, it’s nice to have more resources…
for teaching media literacy and having students critically think about the information they receive.
Close Up is a positive experience for students…
seeing themselves as having the power to influence the democratic process.
I plan to introduce Close Up’s professional development to the teachers I work with…
and use this as a part of my school’s requirement that students take action on issues of local, national, and international importance.
I learned that there’s a huge network of people with the same goals and drive as me…
and that our collaboration really could make a difference. It gave me hope for the future of our communities and our nation!