In social studies, most everyone learns that there are three branches of government. In addition, a basic concept is that there are three levels of government—Federal, State, and Local. Unfortunately, across America, many schools, for various reasons, do not teach about local government. Yet no level affects citizens more directly than that of local government. Local governments provide citizens with essential services, such as police and fire protection, good streets and roads, libaries, schools, parks, and much, much more.
MY LOGO—Missouri Youth Engaged in Local Government is a program of the Citizenship Education Clearing House (CECH) at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education that helps teachers learn and teach about local government. MY LOGO is set up so that any teacher that wants to teach about city or local government can participate. Whether you teach 3rd grade or 8th grade or 11th grade, the MY LOGO Program Coordinator will work with you to tailor a program that best meets your students’ needs and district or state standards.
Or if you prefer, you can simply utilize the information on the MY LOGO web site and develop your own program. The entire MY LOGO Handbook is posted online in a PDF format. This is a comprehensive set of lessons and activities that will help students and others learn about local government. From county government to local government financing to analyzing issues in your community, these activities will provide you with a better understanding on how local governments in Missouri function.
In the students section, we have provided an indepth explanation of each part of local government. You can do use this information as part of a class activity or you can individualize instruction and have groups of students work on different aspects of local government and make presentations to the class.
And "Sandy's Helpful Handouts" provide some additional lesson ideas for teaching about local government. Periodically, check this section as Sandy will be adding more and more handouts. Likewise if you develop a lesson and want us to post it, send it to Sandy and she will make it available to other educators.
Our goal is two-fold. One is that students learn about local government and the second is that students discover the importance of actively participating in their communities. Ideally, we want the "textbook to come alive" and demonstrate how important it is to have informed, active citizen participation.
A Teacher Involved in MY LOGO might:
- Attend a workshop on local government and learn how to integrate the MY LOGO Local Government Activities Handbook into his/her existing curriculum material.
- Attend meetings to plan and carry out the program in their school or district.
- Implement the program in their classrooms through the use of the handbook and other resources, and facilitate the development of student projects.
- Participate in the planning and implementation of SITE VISITS to City Hall, Historic Buildings, Police Departments, Courthouses, and other government sites.
- Take part in a local PROJECTS FAIR or FORUM where students "showcase" their research & solution of a local government problem or issue.
- Invite local government officials such as: the City or County Manager, Mayor, Councilman/Woman, Alderman/Woman, Police Chief, Sheriff, Commissioner, local Judge, County Clerk, into the classroom to dialogue with students about what they do and why it's important.
- Promote and publicize the program among other teachers and schools, local government officials, University Extension personnel, and community organizations.