Build Your Civics Fair

RU Ready Civics Fair Toolkit Getting Started

Learn more about how to successfully plan and administer the RU Ready Civics Fair in your school!

Civics Fair Home

Building Your Civics Fair: The Basics

Hosting an RU Ready Civics Fair takes planning and organizing to ensure your event’s success. Taking time to determine your school’s audience, needs, and limitations allows for a more meaningful Civics Fair for an individual school’s student population.

Utilizing an evidence-based approach, our team has tips for planning and executing the RU Ready Civics Fair in a high school setting. Learn more about the following tips, including:

  • Planning the RU Ready Civics Fair
  • Executing the RU Ready Civics Fair
  • Expanding Beyond the Civics Fair
Civics Fair Poster

Planning Your Civics Fair

How do I receive administrative support?

One of the first items for planning an RU Ready Civics Fair focuses on gaining administrative approval for the event. As an instructor, take the time to map out the location, time, and goals for the event. We recommend sending the proposal to your administration and key partners with ample time (approx. 4-6 months prior).

Our team suggests a timeline of 4 to 6 months in advance to allow for any questions, concerns, or necessary approvals that may arise from your request. Be mindful of the fact your proposal may require Board of Education reviewal and coordination with the school calendar.

Where and when should my Civics Fair take place?

Determining the location and time of your school’s RU Ready Civics Fair depends on the school calendar, building schedule, and the best times for engaging students.

After connecting with your school’s administration and key partners, scope out a location for the Civics Fair. Here are our location suggestions:

  • Media Center
  • Gymnasium
  • Conference Room
  • Large Classroom
  • Cafeteria

Once a location is chosen, begin considering the best time for hosting the Civics Fair. Depending on when the most students will be available to visit, here are some time suggestions:

  • Study Hall period
  • Lunch period
  • Before/After school
  • During class time

Be mindful of the calendar and take advantage of election dates, holidays, and school events such as homecoming, graduation festivities, and other community events.

Here are some items to consider when deciding the location and time of the civics fair:

  • If there are plans to utilize a computer or other electronic devices, make sure the room has a quality Wifi connection
  • Partner with instructors to make the Civics Fair a component of a lesson
  • Get creative with the space of your Civics Fair: If students congregate in certain areas, make plans to have your Civics Fair there

How long should my Civics Fair last?

It’s up to you!

Our team suggests hosting the RU Ready Civics Fair for a minimum of two days to allow for the most students to attend. There is no time amount that should be followed, but we suggest having the fair run for a few hours during the school day. If your administration allows for a full-day of programming, that’s great! However, there should not be pressure to host a full-day event if you have limited capacity.

Executing Your Civics Fair

Preparing your volunteers

When it comes time for launching the RU Ready Civics Fair, a team of volunteers is vital for the success of your event. Whether it’s a team of high school students, college students, or faculty representatives, your team of volunteers will execute the Civics Fair.

Take the time to prepare your team of volunteers with the following tips:

  • Professionalism: Volunteers should arrive on time and in business-casual attire.
  • Enthusiasm: Encourage volunteers to be enthusiastic about the station they will be highlighting.
  • Working with Minors: The RU Ready Civics Fair is meant to serve minors (individuals under the age of 18) so special considerations must be fostered. All volunteers must maintain professional boundaries when working with minors, including:
    • Limit unnecessary interactions
    • Refrain from exchanging contact information and social media handles

Civics Fair Set Up Guidelines

When determining the set up of your Civics Fair, consider the location you will be hosting your event. We suggest creating four distinct stations on their own table to limit crowding.

Be mindful of accessibility when determining your room set up so all students are able to enjoy the event.

Ideas to Consider

Administering a successful RU Ready Civics Fair requires addressing the needs and interests of your student population. Below are ideas to consider when executing your event:

  • Accessibility: Whether your students require language or require additional educational support, be sure to provide opportunities that best fit the needs of your school population.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Be mindful of diversity and inclusion when administering your civics fair, specifically when inviting speakers and students to participate in the event.
  • Nonpartisanship: The mission of the RU Ready Civics Fair centers around encouraging students from all backgrounds in making their voices heard. Take the time to promote political balance when crafting and administering the event so all students feel respected and comfortable discovering their values.

Using Civics Fair Materials in the Classroom

Incorporating Materials Into Lesson Plans

Civics Fair materials go beyond a day’s worth of learning and interaction. Use these materials however they fit into your lesson plans. Our Teacher Guide showcases two different ways to do so. Experiment with using Civics Fair materials to supplement planned classroom lessons in government and media literacy, or use them for a more long-term Civic Action Project.

Example Scenario: Civic Action Project

Civics Fair materials can be used to address a single issue while helping students strengthen their communication skills, political engagement, and civic pride. See how a student used Civics Fair materials to address a littering problem in their neighborhood.

Raising Awareness: Petition
Contacting Officials: Letter
Engaging the Community: Service Project

Reference this guide for how these materials come together for a comprehensive Civic Action Project.

Next Steps

Are you looking for more civic opportunities to incorporate into your classroom? Visit the RU Ready in the Classroom series for complete lesson modules fostering democratic learning in high school students.