Sometimes, opportunity is everything. Republican DuPage County Board candidate Dino Gavanes certainly believes this is true when it comes to civics and government education in the county. It’s one of his priorities as a candidate.
“If you talk to students in middle and high school, many of them have no idea how government works,” Dino says. “You have kids who don’t understand civics. I believe that, through a partnership between the County Board and area school districts, we can provide resources and direct contact to enrich this kind of education.”
According to CIRCLE—the Center and Information for Research on Civic Learning and Engagement—good civics education has positive and long-term effects. Students who receive better civic education are more likely to become engaged citizens. Understanding and discussing current, controversial issues has been shown to boost knowledge and interest into adulthood. Furthermore, a strong civics education tends to promote skills such as deliberation, collaboration, and strong public speaking ability—as important for future community involvement as to life in the workforce. Civics education also prepares students to be tomorrow’s voters, jurors, and involved members of their communities.
That’s especially important in a county like DuPage, where 30% of the population is under age 18. Those youngsters will play a key role in their communities in just a few short years. CIRCLE’s research and analysis shows that education, income, ethnicity, and immigration status all strongly predict civic participation and engagement. Declining or unequal opportunities to build civic skills may compromise future civic engagement.
Dino knows that District 1 is home to a diverse population. “This district may be the most diverse in DuPage County, racially, ethnically, economically, and politically. That diversity makes it a very desirable and interesting place to live. I believe we have an opportunity to bring government to life, and to create a mechanism to visit schools or have students visit us and see the County Board in action. That kind of contact will create opportunities to build those civic skills at schools in our communities.”
In Dino’s vision, the County Board and the schools can work together to serve students and bolster local civics and government education. “I look forward to exploring how to create a mechanism to do just that,” Dino says. “Education has made the difference in my life and career, and it’s important that we pay it forward.”
Local resident and experienced business leader Dino Gavanes is a Republican running for DuPage County Board to represent communities in District 1. District 1 includes Addison, Bensenville, Bloomingdale, Elmhurst, Itasca, Roselle and Wood Dale in addition to portions of Lombard, Villa Park, Elk Grove, and Glendale Heights. “I ask for your vote on November 6 and look forward to serving you in the years to come.”
To learn more about Dino and his campaign, and how you can become involved, visit his site at www.dinogavanes.com.