Close Up Foundation
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (January 2009)|
The Close Up Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization in the United States. Founded in 1971 Close Up offers high school students an in-depth view of the democratic process, by interactive participation.
Close Up offers students and teachers from all 50 states and American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau and the United States Virgin Islands to come to Washington, D.C. to attend Close Up's programs. These intensive programs help students understand the key roles that they, as ordinary citizens, play as active participants in the U.S. democratic system. Many schools send groups to Close Up every year. In addition, many students decide to attend on their own or with friends. Programs are offered year-round, including summer.
The high school student program is five days and five nights and features meetings with elected officials on Capitol Hill, structured learning activities at Washington's monuments and memorials, and the chance to "live and learn" with students from other schools nationwide.
The middle school student program is five days and four nights and helps students learn first hand the lessons history can teach about good citizenship today.
Teachers and administrators who choose to bring groups of students attend an accelerated adult-learning program that includes study of some of Washington's not so well known memorials and monuments and that provides a forum for educators to share best practices with peers.
Close Up also offers a unique program for New Americans, specialized programs for Native Americans, Teaching American History (TAH) programs for teachers, and a host of theme-based programs that enable participants to benefit from Washington's seasonality. It also offers customized programs for teachers who want to "pick and choose" content to match their school curriculum and degree of difficulty.
A typical day might start as early as 7:00 a.m. and end at 10:00 p.m. Tuition for most programs is all-inclusive and covers room, board, in-town travel, supervision, security and more.
More than 800,000 have participated in the program.
Close Up also serves thousands of teachers and students nationwide though its mix of classroom-based learning tools such as publications, lesson plans, TV shows and videos. Its flagship publication is Current Issues. Current Issues is an annual textbook that provides insightful coverage of public policy topics. Its pro-con format is known for stimulating debate among students and for helping students appreciate multiple points of view.
Ten current Members of Congress are Close Up alumni, including:
- Senator David Vitter (LA)
- Senator Mary Landrieu (LA)
- Senator Pat Toomey (PA)
- Representative Joe Garcia (FL)
- Representative David Cicilline (RI)
- Representative Rob Bishop (UT)
- Representative Tim Walz (MN)
- Representative James Lankford (OK)
- Representative Patrick McHenry (NC)
- Representative Adam Smith (WA)
Former Members of Congress
- Representative Betty Sutton (OH)
Other Government Officials
- Vuoto, Loredana (27 April 2009). "Close Up Foundation attracts students to D.C.". The Washington Times. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
- "Close Up Foundation gets $1M Interior grant". Saipan Tribune. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 17 February 2010.