CIVITAS International Exchange Program: CELD Partners
Exchange visit to Colorado, August 7-14, 2004
CELD welcomes educators from the Czech and Slovak Republics
In August, CELD hosted teachers and coordinators from our Civitas partnership. Representatives from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Oklahoma, and Michigan joined Colorado teachers for a Project Citizen Institute. The exchange program was designed to:

• Improve understanding of how citizens participate in making public policy in our respective states and countries through a study of parliamentary and representative democracy systems;

• Strengthen implementation of Project Citizen through professional development across our partnership; and

Develop strategies for improving student civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions through research and evaluation.

On the first day of their visit, our international delegation were guests at a picnic sponsored by Colorado's honorary consul for Slovakia. They learned about representative, grass roots democracy by visiting a polling place and talking to election judges, interacting with Colorado citizens and candidates at primary election watch parties hosted by Mike Miles and Peter Coors. They also participated in a Lion’s Club meeting in Leadville, Colorado, and learned about local government from Jerry L’Estrange, Town Manger of Buena Vista and Trustee, Diane Look and Project Citizen teacher, Melanie McElroy. A potluck dinner sponsored by the Chaffee County League of Women Voters provided more opportunity for interaction with political activists and an opportunity to hear from Teddy Roosevelt as portrayed by Salida We the People teacher, Ed Lambert.