Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, education leaders, and NYC students visit United Nations

November 02, 2010

Event marked the launch of the Virtue Foundation / iCivics Digital Storytelling Initiative 

November 2, 2010 – WASHINGTON, DC – On U.S. Election Day, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor visited with NYC students and education leaders at the United Nations to discuss the importance of civic engagement in the 21st Century.  Justice O’Connor spoke about iCivics Inc., a non-profit organization she founded to reinvigorate civic teaching and learning.  Joining Justice O’Connor were Joel Klein, Chancellor of NYC Department of Education, Geoffrey Canada, CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone, and Drs. Joseph Salim and Joan LaRovere, Co-Founders of Virtue Foundation.  

This event also marked the launch of the Virtue Foundation/iCivics Citizenship, Philanthropy and Digital Storytelling Initiative.  This initiative uses classroom curriculum, online games, and digital storytelling to teach children about citizenship, philanthropy, and civic responsibility.  “I founded iCivics to inspire the next generation to become active and effective civic participants,” said Justice O’Connor.  “The Virtue Foundation/iCivics Digital Storytelling Initiative will provide access to technology, teach citizenship, and help students across the country engage in their communities.”

Designed to take advantage of 21st Century technology and encourage youth to connect through meaningful topics, the project gives students the opportunity to tell their stories of community service, citizenship, and the positive impact they are making. “This initiative builds upon Virtue’s past project successes toward providing a learning environment in which students are acquiring essential skills, engaging in community service, and feeling empowered to make a difference,” said Dr. Salim.  “Giving classrooms access to cutting-edge technology while encouraging children to tell their own stories of community service advances not only individual students’ education, but has the potential to transform entire communities.”

Today, the first pilot of this initiative will be launched in five New York City schools, with the goal of expanding the project in 2011 to include children from across the United States and around the globe.

About Virtue Foundation:  The Virtue Foundation is a non-profit organization with Special Consultative Status to the United Nations.  Its mission is to increase awareness, to inspire action, and to render assistance through healthcare, education and empowerment initiatives.  Comprised primarily of volunteers, Virtue Foundation is guided by the principle that true global change must begin within each of us – one person at a time, one act at a time. www.virtuefoundation.org/.

About iCivics: iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation, and that civics teachers need better materials and support. www.icivics.org/.


Jeff J. Curley

(202) 661-6527