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UW System pledges $20,000 in support of Wisconsin Civics Games

As part of its effort to promote citizenship and civil dialogue, the University of Wisconsin System has announced an annual $20,000 commitment in support of the Wisconsin Civics Games, a statewide civics bowl hosted by the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation.

The funds will support scholarships and cash awards for the Civics Games and its accompanying editorial writing and cartooning contests, as well as promotion of the programs.

“We’re thrilled to have the support of the University of Wisconsin System as we continue this important work advancing awareness of the First Amendment and encouraging tomorrow’s leaders to explore the many ways they can participate in the democratic process,” said Beth Bennett, executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association and WNA Foundation.

The WNA Foundation launched the statewide civics bowl for high school students in 2019 to address a decline in civic education and engagement. The accompanying editorial contests were created in 2021 to continue engaging students during a time when the coronavirus pandemic made it difficult to host in-person events.

“This support will enable us to expand our efforts to promote civic and civil engagement among students across Wisconsin,” said WNA Foundation Board member Eve Galanter, who helped to launch the Civics Games.

The 2023 Wisconsin Civics Games regional competitions will be held remotely on April 13 and 14. The state finals will take place on May 12 at the state Capitol in Madison. Students and teachers interested in participating can sign up or learn more at wisconsincivicsgames. com. The UW System pledge was announced on Nov. 11 by UW System President Jay Rothman alongside several new citizenship and civil dialogue initiatives. They included the creation of an institute aimed at elevating civil dialogue and the First Amendment on UW campuses, the facilitation of peer-to-peer conversations between students of different backgrounds, and the development of a new civil dialogue website for UW System universities.

Additional supporters of the Wisconsin Civics Games include the Evjue Foundation, the Wisconsin Counties Association, the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, the Wisconsin Association for Independent Colleges and Universities, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, WisconsinEye, Wisconsin Senate Scholars and Godfrey & Kahn.