Civics Matters Arizona

A civic engagement experience in partnership with Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs and the Arizona Cardinals.

Take part in a statewide civic engagement initiative for students and teachers!

The Arizona Cardinals, the Governor of Arizona, and Close Up are proud to partner for Civics Matters Arizona, an annual civic engagement initiative for students across the state. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young Arizonans, engaging them in interactive civics lessons in the classroom, a schoolwide essay contest about making a difference, and—for the contest winners—an incredible summer trip to Washington, DC, on the Arizona Cardinals team plane!

Check out a special invitation from Governor Katie Hobbs!

What is Civics Matters Arizona and how do I get started?


Building upon a successful pilot program launched in 2022, Civics Matters Arizona is a civic education initiative that takes place annually across the state of Arizona. In the 2022-2023 school year, a geographically diverse cohort of schools that serve students with the highest need will be invited to participate. Teachers will take part in a training to implement Civics Matters classroom lesson plans and invite students to enter the Civics Matters Arizona essay contest to win a trip to DC in June on the Cardinals plane!


Implementing Civics Matters Arizona at your school:

  • Step 1 – Confirmation: To confirm your school’s participation please complete this intent to participate form.
  • Step 2 – Teacher Training: Teacher(s) complete our 90-minute self-paced webinar training to review the Civics Matters Arizona lesson plans and essay contest rules. Click here to access the training and materials.
  • Step 3 – Lesson Plans: After completing the webinar training, teachers implement the three, 45-minute lesson plans in their classroom(s).
  • Step 4 – Essay Contest: Invite 10th and/or 11th grade students to participate in the essay contest and use the rubric provided by Close Up to select four contest winners. Names of the four selected students are due to Close Up by May 10.

Washington, DC, ProgramTraveling on the Arizona Cardinals’ team plane with a few special guests, 260 students from across Arizona will head to the nation’s capital for a four-day, three-night experience, June 14-17, with Close Up.

Civics Matters Training Camp: Hosted by the Arizona Cardinals and facilitated by Close Up, each lead teacher will gather in August for an interactive training camp to learn and discuss civic engagement lessons to implement on Constitution Day and Sandra Day O’Connor Civics Celebration Day in September. Teachers will focus on best practices for civic engagement and nonpartisan teaching with social and political issues. Dates coming soon.

Questions? Please email us at CivicsMattersAZ@CloseUp.org.



What schools and students are eligible to participate in the essay contest?
Will teachers travel with students to Washington, DC?
Who should students and parents contact with any questions or concerns BEFORE the trip?
Who should students and parents contact with any questions or concerns DURING the trip?
How will the students be transported to/from Washington, DC?
What does a typical day look like?
Where do students stay during the program?
Can you tell me more about the student experience during the program?
What supervision structure is in place for the program? What training and qualifications do Close Up staff have?
Will students have a curfew? Is there night security at the hotel?
Can you tell me more about safety and security on a Close Up program?