It has been another year of incredible growth in our youth civic leadership, civic health, and non-partisan accessible elections programs. With an increasingly challenging environment for civil discourse and civic leadership on the national level, our mission and the need for our programs has only strengthened. As we approach our 10th anniversary in 2008 we have never been more excited and well positioned to meet the challenge.
Our youth civic leadership and engagement programs now reach 1000 students a day in three middle school and two elementary after school sites in Omaha and Lincoln that NCR runs entirely. These programs work to instill civic leadership through building critical thinking, civil discourse and problem solving skills through youth led community asset mapping. In addition, we reach hundreds more students annually in other K-12 civic leadership and civil discourse programs across the state. Meanwhile, our Civic Health programs have kicked into full gear with a renewed emphasis on civil discourse and media literacy and be on the look out for an updated Nebraska Civic Health Index on the horizon.
While direct service programs now comprise over three-fourths of what we do and reach thousands of Nebraskans each year, we know that in order to have confidence in our institutions, they must be accessible and non-partisan, which is why our non-partisan voting rights program is so important. In the past two years it has grown to four full-time staff members who have been organizing people across the state to ensure that our elections are accessible, non-partisan and modern.
As we look to the future we know that a strong democracy does not build itself, it takes dedicated community leaders like you working every day to ensure our democracy is representative and robust. I hope you will continue to support our mission and work with a donation today. No contribution is too small or big. We can’t do it without you.