Community Engagement

By blending civic education and community engagement, we help students and teachers make a real impact.

Close Up impacts students, teachers, and communities nationwide.

At Close Up, community engagement is an integral part of the work we do in civic education. Through our programs, professional development, curriculum, and classroom resources, we connect what students learn in the classroom to the real world around them.

The National Network of Schools in Partnership, a division of the Close Up Foundation, is the epicenter of our community engagement work and Impact programming, through which we give students and teachers a greater sense of purpose and engage them in causes bigger than themselves.


We help participants take the Close Up experience home.

For our program participants, the Close Up experience may begin in Washington—but we ensure that it continues in communities nationwide. We give our participants the knowledge, skills, and tools to:

  • Register to vote and make their voices heard.
  • Become Close Up Civic Ambassadors.
  • Stay engaged with policy issues through our Current Issues Blog and Current Issues Resource Library.
  • Get involved at school by joining clubs, attending meetings, and/or running for student government.
  • Engage with local government by attending hearings.
  • Publicly express views by contacting policymakers and media outlets.
  • Support political campaigns.
  • Volunteer for advocacy organizations.
  • Take direct action by starting, joining, or supporting a protest.



We create, and help schools implement, community engagement curriculum.

Close Up’s community engagement work goes inside the classroom as well. Through our cross-discipline curriculum design and consulting, we help schools embed community engagement directly into their curriculum. Examples include the following:

  • In Florida’s Lee County Schools, we provided professional development for educators alongside a Rally to the Tally program, a local summit in which students research, draft, and present a legislative agenda to state officials in Tallahassee.
  • In Biology and the Zoo at the Hockaday School in Texas, students worked with Dallas Zoo experts to identify an environmental problem, pitch solutions to local industry leaders in a “shark tank” setting, and compete for local funding.