America’s Second Founding – the 14th Amendment

“The more educated you are, the more likely you are to be civically engaged.”
— Robert Pondiscio, Fordham Foundation.

Civic literacy is fundamental to the functioning of the American democratic republic. It requires knowledge of our Constitution, its history, and its values, as they have evolved and changed over time. The Catto story took place during the time that eminent historian Eric Foner calls the “Second American Revolution,” when the U. S. Constitution took on new meaning and centered our democracy on its citizens and their rights and privileges.

Hear Eric Foner Speak

Therefore, studying and understanding the efforts of O.V. Catto and his associates are important to building civic literacy, as well as historical knowledge, of our Constitution and the values that our nation hold dear today. The Catto story shows citizens in action and also reveals how their work has shaped our country today.

This section provides links to resources that can enable classroom learning across the curriculum in civics literacy. They can help schools and educators build civic competence among their students. They can help them think critically about not only about issues of the past, but their meaning in their lives today. The resources are designed to encourage students in speaking, listening, collaboration, community engagement, public advocacy, and the gathering and processing information. These civic literacy skills will also build students’ global awareness and cultural literacy.