December 28, 2005
Posted online: January 7, 2006
STATE OF ILLINOIS
URBANA--High school teachers throughout Illinois are getting
help in training the next generation of leaders thanks to a
partnership involving University of Illinois Extension.
"Tomorrow's Leaders: Understanding Illinois Local
Government" was developed by U of I Extension, the Illinois
Municipal League, Township Officials of Illinois, and the
Illinois Association of County Board Members and
"This is a high school curriculum designed to develop
citizens who care about and contribute to their
communities," explained Jeri Marxman, U of I Extension
public affairs and public policy specialist. "It consists of
eight units covering topics such as local government finances,
the police and court systems, safety, local government services,
and how citizens can affect the governance of cities, villages,
townships, counties, and various special districts."
More than 125 Illinois high school teachers have received
training in using the curriculum. Teachers report that the
curriculum helps their students connect with their local
"Some teachers have sent students to attend meetings of
local government units and hand in reports," said Marxman.
"Other teachers invite local officials into the classroom
and report to us that this helps increase their students'
understanding of local government.
"By helping students discover how Illinois local
governments solve the problems closest to us--such as good roads,
strong schools, effective fire and police protection, and safe
water supplies--we will build a citizenry that is well informed
as they vote and more likely to assume leadership roles in their
Marxman said those interested in obtaining the curriculum for
their school should contact Ruby Lingle, U of I Extension, (217)
782-6515; Gary Koch of the Illinois Municipal League, (217)
525-1220; Bryan Smith, Township Officials of Illinois, (217)
744-2212; or Kelly Murray, Illinois Association of County Board
Members and Commissioners, (217) 528-5331.
Source: Jeri Marxman, Extension Specialist, PA/PPE, firstname.lastname@example.org