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IF I HAD A TRILLION...

IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

What
would you
do with a
trillion
dollars? Curriculum Guide
In this guide...
! ! Budgets 101
! ! Checking Out the Facts
! ! Exploring Personal Priorities
! ! Civic Engagement
! ! Additional Resources

For more info: mzerkel@afsc.org, 312.427.2533


1
For Facilitators
How to Use this Guide
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Our federal budget is more than numbers on a Some activities require handouts that are listed
page. Congresswoman Barbara Lee has called on separate pages from the activities. It is
it a “moral document,” a representation of our designed this way to make it easy on you the
nation's values. The If I Had a Trillion Dollars facilitator to make copies for your group. Some
youth video contest asks young people from activities also may require the internet and
across the country, to tell us about what they access to the National Priorities Project
value. It asks them to tell us what they would website. Be sure to keep this in mind when
do with $1 trillion – for themselves, their designing your own unique curriculum.
families and for their communities.
Additional resources and ways for young
This Curriculum Guide is meant to provide a people to stay engaged with the issues
context for young people creating videos for discussed are at the end of this Curriculum
the contest. Through group activities, Guide. We hope that this is helpful to you as
journaling and facilitated discussion, youth will the facilitator and that young people will be
gain an understanding of how our federal motivated and inspired to work in their
budget works, what our nations priorities are in communities.
terms of budgeting and they will begin to
explore their own personal budget priorities. Good luck to you and the young
people you work with!
The Curriculum is broken into four parts:
Budgets 101, Checking Out the Facts,
Exploring Personal Priorities, Civic
Engagement. Each section has 2-4 activities
that can be done together, or you can pick and
choose which activities are best suited for your
group. The Learning Objective, Materials,
Activity Time and directions are listed at the
beginning of each activity. Some activities have
Guiding Questions for Facilitators in boxes at
the end of the activity. These are meant to help
you facilitate a discussion with the group to get
to the meaning and main Learning Objective for
the activity.

Before starting the Curriculum with your group,


it is recommended that you read through the
entire Guide and choose which activities suit
your group and the time allowed to prepare for
the If I Had A Trillion youth video contest.
Example: If you only have an afternoon with
your group you may only want to do 1-2
activities. If you have a couple of days, you
could do the entire curriculum if you like!

2
Budgets 101 Size of 100% of Poverty 200% of Poverty
Making Budgets Personal Family
Unit
Learning Objective: Youth will develop an
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

! "#!#$%&'()*'+,-./+0+ "!$!1+%&'()*'+,-./+0+
understanding of how difficult setting priorities
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• Break group members into smaller groups of ,-./ %-(,'*+,-./
2, 3 or 4. This is their “family” group. Each
group should receive their monthly paycheck
in monopoly money.
• Ask groups how much they think is enough to • Ask participants how much they think each of
live comfortably on as a family of 3 or 4. You the following costs per month depending on
can “pay” families based on 100% or 200% their ideas about how their family lives:
of Federal Poverty Guidelines. Make sure to
explain that you are deducting taxes from - Phone
their paycheck. - Rent or mortgage for a 2-3 bedroom
• Ask groups to discuss where and how they apartment/home
live as a family group:
- Utilities: Heat/Electricity/Other
- Groceries
! Does your family live in an apartment, a
! house, or another setting? - Household necessities (cleaning, paper)
- Health care costs (doctor visits,
! Does your family rent or own your medicine, premium)
! home? - Transportation (car, car insurance, gas,
bus pass)
! Does your family own a car? What year, - Cable (Optional)
! make and model? - Internet (Optional)
- Social/Fun
! Do the children attend public or private
! school or are they home schooled?

• What did you find difficult about making budget choices?


Guiding
• What did you do when you ran out of money? How did you
Questions
decide to “re-allocate,” or change the way you spent your
For
money?
Facilitators
• Did you ever disagree with family members about how to
spend your family budget?
• Now imagine that you were deciding how to spend hundreds
of billions of dollars. Would it be easy to decide on your
priorities? Why or why not?

3
Budgets 101
Taking a Slice of the Federal Budget Pie
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To help young people


understand the wide disparity in spending
within the Discretionary Budget.

Materials: FY 2011 Proposed Discretionary


Budget Pie Chart, Two round pizza pies (pre-
cut), Index cards with Spending Categories
(see page 5)

Activity time: 30 minutes

Directions:
• Start the activity by clarifying definitions such
as discretionary budget and the budget
categories below, by asking participants for
their definitions and then filling in where
needed (see page 5).
• Cut one pizza to mirror the Discretionary
Budget Pie Chart (see page 6). Pass out
slices with corresponding headings.
• Ask members to compare the sizes of their
slices and consider the following questions in
small groups or as a large group after
reviewing the contents of each spending
category.

Guiding • What do you notice about your slices of pizza? How do


Questions you feel about your slice? Do you have enough to eat?
For • Did you notice other people’s slices? What do you think
Facilitators of the differences between the sizes of the slices?
• What do you think of the way the discretionary budget is
divided? What will it mean that some of these slices are
so small?
• Why do you think the Military slice is so large?
• Who decides how big these slices are?
• How can we change how the slices are cut?

4
Federal Budget Definitions
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

& Spending Categories


Discretionary Spending is negotiated between the President and
Congress each year. This is where everyday people have the most
potential power to affect change.
Mandatory Spending is dictated by law and covers categories such
as social security and medicaid.
Income Security & Labor includes funding for job training, disability,
retirement, unemployment insurance, and social security.
Health includes funding for Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP and other
health-related expenses.
Military includes funding for national defense and security, nuclear
weapons activities and international security assistance.
Food includes funding for agriculture and nutritional assistance.
Veterans' Benefits includes funding for healthcare, housing, and
income benefits for veterans.
Transportation includes funding for the development and support of
air, water, ground, and other transportation.
Education includes funding for elementary, secondary, higher and
vocational education.
Environment, Energy & Science includes funding for natural
resources and environment, supply and use of energy, and science
and research activities.
Housing & Community includes funding for housing assistance and
credits, community development, disaster assistance, and services
supporting social needs.
International Affairs includes funding for diplomatic, development,
and humanitarian activities abroad.
Government includes funding for commerce, law enforcement,
overhead costs of federal government, and undistributed offsetting
receipts.
Interest on Debt includes interest being paid on national debt.

5
Budgets 101
Federal Discretionary Budget
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

(Please note that the Discretionary Budget accounts for 34% of the total budget in FY2011.)

How much?
Soon the United
States will have spent
$1 trillion on the wars
in Iraq and
Afghanistan.

6
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W.'+(8#$2/#*8;$:.)/#+'$8&#2+(*/$*#+$*#/2+(E#A
*"#$%&'(.&%(;",8%+(:"+-1&/+7(<-/6-(/'(+-%(.001<.*6%(8/=%*(21&(')%*,/*8(/*(.().&+/6"0.&(6.+%81&79((;",8%+(."+-1&/+7(/'(#"6-
SRK
0/>%(71"&(-1#%($",8%+(.001++%,(21&(-%.+/*8(%?)%*'%'@(21&(%?.#)0%9((A1"(%?)%6+(+1(')%*,(.(6%&+./*(.#1"*+(21&(-%.+/*8(2&1#
!"#$%&'( )&%'%*+%, ( -%&% ( .&% ( /*( $/00/1*' ( 12 ( 3454 ( ,100.&'( .*, ( /*60",% ( $1+- ( #.*,.+1&7 ( .*, ( ,/'6&%+/1*.&7 ( ')%*,/*89 ( ( :00
B%)+%#$%&(3454(+1(C.&6-(3455@(+-%(+1+.0(.#1"*+($%/*8(71"&(D$",8%+(."+-1&/+7@E(+-1"8-(+-%($/00'(F1$0/8.+/1*'G(#.7(.&&/=%(/*
!"#$%&'( )&%'%*+%, ( -%&% ( .&% ( /*( $/00/1*' ( 12 ( 3454 ( ,100.&'( .*, ( /*60",% ( $1+- ( #.*,.+1&7 ( .*, ( ,/'6&%+/1*.&7 ( ')%*,/*89 ( ( :00
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0/>%(71"&(-1#%($",8%+(.001++%,(21&(-%.+/*8(%?)%*'%'@(21&(%?.#)0%9((A1"(%?)%6+(+1(')%*,(.(6%&+./*(.#1"*+(21&(-%.+/*8(2&1#
0/>%(71"&(-1#%($",8%+(.001++%,(21&(-%.+/*8(%?)%*'%'@(21&(%?.#)0%9((A1"(%?)%6+(+1(')%*,(.(6%&+./*(.#1"*+(21&(-%.+/*8(2&1#
B%)+%#$%&(3454(+1(C.&6-(3455@(+-%(+1+.0(.#1"*+($%/*8(71"&(D$",8%+(."+-1&/+7@E(+-1"8-(+-%($/00'(F1$0/8.+/1*'G(#.7(.&&/=%(/*
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H(<=>=$12+(3*24$%&(3&(+(#'$%&3?#8+@$5*8A(I(3JK(L/*8(B+9@(B"/+%(54M(I(!1&+-.#)+1*@(C:(454N4
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H(<=>=$12+(3*24$%&(3&(+(#'$%&3?#8+@$5*8A(I(3JK(L/*8(B+9@(B"/+%(54M(I(!1&+-.#)+1*@(C:(454N4
H(<=>=$12+(3*24$%&(3&(+(#'$%&3?#8+@$5*8A(I(3JK(L/*8(B+9@(B"/+%(54M(I(!1&+-.#)+1*@(C:(454N4
<<<9*.+/1*.0)&/1&/+/%'91&8(I(/*21O*.+/1*.0)&/1&/+/%'91&8(I(J5K9PQJ9MPPN
<<<9*.+/1*.0)&/1&/+/%'91&8(I(/*21O*.+/1*.0)&/1&/+/%'91&8(I(J5K9PQJ9MPPN

7
Budgets 101
Counting Pennies
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To help young people Do not share the actual “Our nation’s
better understand how tax dollars actually priorities” chart until after individuals
get spent. or groups have displayed their own
spending plan.
Materials: “Our nation’s priorities” chart
(see page 8), signs with the names of Variations on this activity:
individual Spending Categories (see page Instead of piling pennies on Spending
5), 100 pennies for each group member or Category cards, participants can also use:
for small groups. pennies in glass jars, poker chips, candy,
sticker dots or anything else to represent a
Activity time: 30-40 minutes percentage of how tax dollars are spent.

Directions:
• Start the activity by clarifying definitions Guiding Questions for Facilitators
on page 5. Ask participants for their
definitions and then filling in where needed.
• Lay out Spending Category signs. • Which spending category did you
• Give each member or small group 100 give the most pennies to? Why?
pennies.
• Explain to members that each penny • Which spending category did you
stands for 1% of the whole. (Review that give the least pennies to? Why?
100% = 1 whole if necessary)
• Ask participants to consider each of • Did your priorities match the
these spending categories. Clarify that current priorities?
members understand some of what each
Spending Area is responsible for by • What do you think of / how do you
reviewing the definitions on page 5. feel about the current priorities?
• Ask members or small groups to consider
how they want their tax dollars spent.
• Was it difficult to decide how to
• Ask members to place the number of spend your pennies? Why or why
pennies by the sign for each spending
not?
category in the amount/percentage they
think that category deserves. (i.e. If you
think Education deserves 30% of the • How difficult would it be if I asked
budget, 30 you all to agree exactly on how the
pennies should be placed by the sign for pennies are spent? Why?
Education.)
• Save 2 rolls of pennies to place by the • Do you think Congress has a
signs to show the percentages that are difficult time agreeing on how to
actually allocated to each spending spend the billions of dollars these
category after the group has discussed pennies represent? Why or why not?
how they made their personal decisions.

8
Budgets 101
Federal Tax Dollars
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

/0+1($%&'(2-13+&'+&%&,-4
!"#$%&#'()*!$)+$,)*&$-../$+#0#&'1$!'2$0)11'&3

!"#$%

!&#'% $#,%-.-/0123241-50-6787193:-;2<1-

*#!%-.-/0123241-50-=50>?787193:-;2<1-
'(#"%

)#*%
*#$%
+#!%

(#+% (#$%
!#$% !#&%
'#(% '#(%

5&)&%$+6 7,$)%8 9(%,+,-% <'=,+(>,(% 9(?'>, 7'0-&(.1A D''E F,%,+$(-2 I(=&+'(>,(% IE0?$%&'( 9(%,+($%&'($)1 K+$(-3'+%$%&'(
'(1 @,?0+&%6 C'>>0(&%6 G,(,H&%- I(,+.61A JHH$&+-
:,;% A1B$;'+ @?&,(?,

!!!"#$%&'($)*+&'+&%&,-"'+. #**L1MNON

Does the current


allocation of tax
dollars reflect your
priorities?

9
Checking Out The Facts
Our Nation
Learning Objective: To offer young
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

people the opportunity to engage


with important facts regarding the
state of health care, education,
employment, energy and poverty in
the United States and locally.

Materials: A pre-determined list of


10-12 national facts (See Checking
Out The Facts: Sample Fact Sheet
with national facts, page 10.)

Activity time: 30 minutes

Directions: This activity can be done


as a simple Myth or Fact/True False
worksheet or a Stand up Sit Down
activity.

Stand Up Sit Down:


Tell members you are going to read
them several statements. If they think
that the statement is true, stand up.
If they think that it is false, sit down.
You or a volunteer group member can read the statements one at a time.
Ask members why they think this statement is true or false before
revealing the answer.

Guiding Questions for Facilitators

• Were you surprised by any of the facts you heard today? If


so, which ones and why?
• What do you think of the facts you learned today?
• How do you feel about the facts you learned today?
• What needs changing?
• Who has the power to change some of these facts?
• What could you do/how could you get involved?

10
Checking out the Facts: Sample Fact Sheet
More than 3 million people, 1.3 million of them children, are likely to experience
homelessness in a given year. 1

Over 14 million children live in poverty in the United States, this is 19% of all children in
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

the U.S. 2!

Currently U.S. national debt totals $12.6 trillion. 3

In 2008 14.6% of households were food insecure for at least some time during the year. 4

Last year 25% of our nation’s bridges received a “D” for safety, barely passing safety
standards 5

Last year 33% of roads receive a “D” grade for safety, barely passing safety standards. 6

It will take $254.6 billion to repair schools nationwide. 7

7.6 million jobs have been lost since December 2007. 8

Whites are more than 3 times as likely to graduate from college as Latinos, and almost
twice as likely as African Americans. 9

The U.S. military spending accounts for 42% of all military spending worldwide. 10

1) National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty; 2) U.S. Census 2007; 3) NPP TaxDay 2010; 4) USDA Economic Research
Institute 2008; 5) American Society of Civil Engineers 2009; 6) American Society of Civil Engineers 2009; 7) American Federation of
Teachers 2009; 8) National Bureau of Economic Research; 9)Economic State of Young America 2008; 10) Stockholm International
Peace Research Institute

Additional Citations

American Federation of Teachers, Building Minds, Minding Buildings: Turning Crumbling Schools into Environments for
Learning, Washington DC,http://www.aft.org/topics/buildingconditions/downloads/mindingbldgs.pdf

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), http://www.asce.org/reportcard/


2009 !

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Forces statistics, release of October 2, 2009.

Military Spending Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Data on Military Expenditures, http://
www.sipri.org/research/armaments/milex/resultoutput

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, http://www.nlchp.org/hapia.cfm

National Priorities Project, TaxDay 2010. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/auxiliary/taxday2010/NPP-Tax_Day_2010.pdf

Tamara Draut, Economic State of Young America, Demos: A Network for Ideas and Action, pp. 2226, New York, Spring
2008.

US Census Bureau, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008, September 2009, p.
14, https://www.census.gov/prod/2009pubs/p60236.pdf

U.S. Department of Education, Public School Principals Report on Their School Facilities: Fall 2005, National Center for
Education Statistics, January 2007. http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2007/2007007.pdf

USDA Economic Research Institute, Food Security in the United States, 2008. http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/
FoodSecurity/

11
Checking Out The Facts
Examining the Budget Trade-Offs
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To offer


young people the opportunity to
explore some budget trade-offs
utilizing National Priorities Project
Budget Trade-offs Tool.

Materials: Internet Access or pre


selected trade-offs from National
Priorities Project website (See
Sample Budget Trade-off
Resource Sheet on page 12.)

Activity time: 45 minutes

Directions:!
• Visit the National Priorities On one set of cards, write the
Project website Trade-offs page at dollar figure on one side and the
www.nationalpriorities.org reason for the expense on the
tradeoffs. other side for military spending.
• Select trade-offs for your state or • On the other set of cards, write
city. the dollar figure on one side and
• Select “total Iraq and Afghanistan the possible trade-offs (choose 1
war spending since 2001” under or 2 for each card) on the other
program option. side.
• Select all trade-offs. (Please • Pass out cards and ask for
see the following page for volunteers to read corresponding
an example of trade-offs by city.) cards. (So for $100 million you can
• Create color coded index cards: have… or you can have…)

Guiding Questions for Facilitators

• Do these trade-offs make sense to you?


• What were your first reactions to some of these trade-offs?
• Did any of the trade-offs really stand out for you? If so which one
and why?
• What would these trade-offs make possible?
• How would America look, act, feel, and be different?
• How are these differences important to you or those you care for
and love?

12
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Sample Taxpayers in Holyoke, Massachusetts will


Budget pay $111.8 million for total Iraq and
Trade- Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For
Off the same amount of money, the following
Resource could have been provided:
Sheet
33,516 People with Health Care for One Year OR

2,194 Public Safety Officers for One year OR

1,915 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR

11,655 Scholarships for University Students for


1 Year OR

20,902 Students receiving Pell Grants of $5350


OR

388 Affordable Housing Units OR

41,933 Children with Health Care for One Year


OR

13,376 Head Start Places for Children for One


Year OR

1,600 Elementary School Teachers for One Year

13
Checking Out The Facts
State by State
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To • # and % of children using the National


engage young people in living in poverty Priorities Project Database
facts relating to social and • # of people living where they will find
economic issues and without health information specific to
resources in their state. insurance their state. To access the
• Jobs lost between NPP Database, visit: http://
Materials:! Out of Balance August ‘08- August ’09 www.nationalpriorities.org/
State By State Facts • Amount required for nppdatabase_tool.
(Available at: http:// school infrastructure
www.nationalpriorities.org/ needs • Choose States level and
auxiliary/webinars/ click on Next Step.
out_of_balance/ • Discuss what is meant by
OutOfBalance- “infrastructure needs”. • Choose Basic
StatebyState.pdf) (Optional: Ask group Demographics and click
! members to share what on Next Step.
Activity time: 30-40 they believe are the top
minutes five resources their school • Collect data by year on
either lacks completely or median income, population
Directions:! needs more of.) by sex, race/ethnicity and
• Share the facts for your age.
state as they relate to: • Ask group members to
create a State Fact Sheet

14
Exploring Personal Priorities
Power of Our Words
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To offer


members a space to reflect on
their ideas about community
and national needs, personal
priorities

Materials: Notebooks, pens/


pencils, decorative materials
(optional)

Activity Time: Flexible

Directions:!
• If group members don’t
already have journals, this
activity can be extended by
asking members to decorate
notebooks or journals to
personalize them for their
reflections. Journal entries can
be made at the beginning or end
of several meetings, or can be
done as a longer reflection
activity. Create space for
members to share excerpts from
their journal entries in pairs or
small groups.

Suggested Journal Prompts:


Choose prompts to inspire
reflection about personal • If I could change anything in the
priorities. Print local trade-offs from world I would change…
http://www.nationalpriorities.org/
tradeoffs and ask group members to • My top three national priorities are
reflect on their reaction to these trade- Why?
offs:
• My top three community priorities
• What my city/town needs more than are… Why?
anything is…
• If I had a trillion dollars to spend on
• What my school needs more than national needs my priorities would
anything… be…

• What I love about my city/town is…

15
Exploring Personal Priorities
Body Voting
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To offer


young people the opportunity Guiding Questions for
to explore personal priorities Facilitators
for the national budget.
• Is it difficult to
Materials: Signs for 5-6
choose between
major Spending Categories
(see page 5). priorities?

Activity time: 30-40 minutes • Did you mostly


choose similarly or
Directions:! differently?
• Hang signs for Health,
Education, Military, • What is the effects on
International Relations, etc.)
society, you, or your
in different corners/locations
in the room. family of the current
• Ask members to “vote” for budget allocations?
the Spending Category that
best answers each question
that you ask by standing by
(This can be a debate or important to you?
that sign.
simply a quick share.)
• After members have settled
• Ask the following questions: -What values and/or beliefs
by the signs of their choice,
are reflected in your answer?
ask them to explain why.
-Which of these is the most
-Which of these is least
important to you?

-What values and/or beliefs


are reflected in your answer?

-Which of these do you think


receives the most federal
funding currently?

-Which of these do you think


receives the least federal
funding currently?

16
Exploring Personal Priorities
Artistic Expressions
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Learning Objective: To offer young • Ask members what the poster says to
people the opportunity to explore them. What is the message?
personal priorities for the national
budget. • Then ask each individual to share
their message verbally.
Materials: Poster board, paints,
markers, crayons, color pencils, Guiding Questions for
newspaper, paint brushes, journal Facilitators!
(optional)
• Why did you choose this as
Activity time: 1 hour your priority?

Directions:! • What is made possible if


• Ask members to choose one budget priority was given to this
priority that is important to them category over others? Provide
personally. Ask them to take a few positive and negative
minutes to journal about why this is a
consequences.
priority for them personally.

• Then ask members to design a • What happens when people


poster, individually or in pairs that speak up and “advocate” for
displays a message about why this is their priorities?
important and why it should be a
priority for other. • How can we “advocate” for our
priorities?
• Ask members to display their posters.

Students at
Illinois
Wesleyan
University
make peace
doves for the
International
Day of Peace.

17
Civic
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Engagement

The If I Had A Trillion Dollars youth video


project is dedicated to creating pathways
and spaces for youth to engage in their
communities and participate in our political
system. Community Service is an ideal way
for youth to take action and participate in
meeting community needs while reflecting
on why those needs exist. The following
activities address the burning question:
WHAT NEXT?
18
Civic Engagement
Mock Town Assembly
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Students could run a mock town


assembly around the issue of how the
discretionary budget is allocated to
understand one form of citizen
participation. The teacher/facilitator
could co-lead the town meeting with a
student, and the rest of the kids could
act as the community members
expressing their points of view around
the discretionary budget issue.

OR

The issue could be around the


importance of citizen participation,
with students randomly divided into
sides “for” and “against” citizen
participation. The “for” side could
argue the importance of citizen
participation in democratic society,
while the “against” side could argue
some of the barriers that restrict
citizen participation in our society. The
goal of the discussion could be for
students to understand the
importance of citizen participation and
how to overcome the challenges of
participating. Some discussion
questions could be provided to guide

the discussion, along with necessary background information. Questions could


introduce the discussion of the importance of participating to achieve economic
justice in our society, which would set the stage for making the video.

This could be a very empowering activity because it gives students the greatest
chance to express and debate their thoughts and feelings.

19
Civic Engagement
Final Journal
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

After completing the If I Had • What could be the benefits in


A Trillion Dollars youth video participating to promote
contest, ask students to write economic justice in society?
journal entries reflecting upon
their experience with the • In what ways could you
curriculum and the contest. participate to promote economic
justice in society?
• What is citizen participation and
why is it important in sustaining a • Do we, as American citizens,
democratic society? have a responsibility to engage in
citizen participation, and why?
• Is there a time you engaged in
citizen participation in some way?

• What was the purpose for


engaging?

• What was the experience like for


you?

• What motivated you to


participate?

• What change did you effect as a


result?

Guiding Ask students to share their responses.


Questions This activity gets students thinking about the
for importance of citizen participation in sustaining
Facilitators a democratic society, and stimulates thinking
about how they have participated and could
participate in the future.

20
Civic Engagement
Community Service Ideas
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

Get involved in your


Before volunteering reflect on:
community! • Why do we want to do this?
• What is the community need we
✓Volunteer to work in a community are addressing?
! garden. • Why is this need important?
✓Prepare and serve a meal at a • Why does this need exist?
local soup kitchen.
✓Organize or participate in a After volunteering reflect on:
community clean-up. • What was your experience like?
✓Volunteer with younger children. • Was there anything surprising?
Example: Read aloud at a story • What more can we do to address
hour at a local library. the issue?
✓Choose an issue (“going green”, • What kinds of changes need to
“healthy eating”, “safety on our happen in our city/town, state and
streets”) to research and country to address this issue?
develop a campaign to address • How does this relate back to
in your school or community budget issues?

For more ideas for middle school aged youth:


http://www.servicelearning.org/all_slice/10

For more ideas for high school aged youth:


http://www.servicelearning.org/all_slice/126

A Comprehensive Tool Kit for implementing


community service learning activities with
your group:
http://www.servicelearning.org/filemanager/download
8542_K-12_SL_Toolkit_UPDATED.pdf

21
Resources
If I Had A Trillion Dollars
youth video contest
IF I HAD A TRILLION DOLLARS YOUTH VIDEO CONTEST

of the federal budget process; link between federal funds


and to help build the capacity and state and local budgets. It
of people across the United offers a solid and accessible
States who want their voices critique of national spending
and their priorities to be heard priorities, with a focus on
In mi Proin accumsan in the debate over federal military spending. State-level
Purus, in consectetuer Proin in sapien. Donec
feugiat tempor libero. Fusce urna magna,neque spending in general and figures are available for every
eget lacus. Maecenas felis nunc, aliquam ac,
consequat vitae. military spending in particular. state to help participants
http:// “bring home” the webinar's
www.nationalpriorities.org/ main messages.
*An annual analysis of the
publications/2009/09/24/ http://
President's budget: NPP's
Security-Spending-Primer www.nationalpriorities.org/
analysis of the FY2011
webinars
federal budget spans FY2008
*NPP's Database: Our one
to projected FY2012. The
of-a-kind database contains *Budget Trade-offs: The
publication offers
state and local level data on trade-off tool allows users to
state-level data and cross
federal spending and explore both the magnitude
budget category
correlated social well-being and meaning of expenditures
comparisons.
indicators in eight issue areas. at the national, state,
http://
Our categories include: health, Congressional District, county,
www.nationalpriorities.org/
education, energy, housing, city and town level, such as
Presidents_Budget_FY2011
labor, poverty and military. the total cost of the U.S. wars
The database allows users to in Afghanistan and Iraq by
*Tax Day: In FY2010, NPP
note actual localized federal comparing them to numbers
breaks out the allocation of
spending trends, as well as of teachers, homes with
individual tax-payer
the potential impact of renewable electricity, people
dollars, in spending
that spending. with healthcare, etc.
categories which correspond
http:// http://
to our President's budget
www.nationalpriorities.org/ www.nationalpriorities.org/
analysis. Note: NPP also has
nppdatabase_tool tradeoffs
an interactive tax chart which
calculates the breakout of
*Data for Democracy
individual federal tax dollars.
http:// Workshops and Trainings:
www.nationalpriorities.org/ This initiative is dedicated
taxday2010 to helping our constituents –
elected officials, labor leaders,
members of the media,
*Security Spending
organizers and community
Primer: The Primer is a “one
groups – use NPP's localized
stop-shopping” resource
federal spending data and
with two main goals: to
tools more effectively. NPP's
provide comprehensive, easy
first webinar in this
to-understand
series: Out of Balance:
information on the complexity
provides a critical look at the

22