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Tags: jill biden | well versed | schoolhouse rock | civics

Jill Biden Unveils 'Well Versed,' a Modern 'Schoolhouse Rock!'

By    |   Friday, 27 October 2023 04:14 PM EDT

First Lady Jill Biden joined forces Friday with Nickelodeon and ATTN: on National Civics Day to introduce an educational initiative, "Well Versed," aimed at teaching young learners the principles of civics in a fresh and engaging way, reminiscent of the iconic "Schoolhouse Rock!"

The animated television series will teach kids about democracy and the U.S. Bill of Rights through original pop songs and is set to premiere Nov. 1 on Nickelodeon, Paramount+, and Noggin, according to Axios.

American democracy is facing unprecedented challenges, a recent 2022 survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania showed. It highlighted a stark reality — less than half of U.S. adults (47%) could correctly identify all three branches of government. 

Former First Lady Laura Bush is said to be planning to lend her support for this educational endeavor in a yet-to-be-released video message.

Paramount Chair Shari Redstone stressed the critical need to address the gap in civic education, stating, "At a time when democracy is under enormous threat, the substantial gap in civic education in our country must be addressed. The fact that both First Lady Biden and former First Lady Bush have shown their support for Well Versed underscores the critical importance of what we are doing."

iCivics, a nonprofit provider of civic education, has played a pivotal role in shaping the curriculum of "Well Versed." This organization aims to empower the younger generation with a more comprehensive understanding of the American democratic system.

Annually, iCivics materials reach 145,000 educators and 9 million students, according to NickALive.

Complementing the TV series, "Well Versed" will feature four music videos designed for preschoolers. An official "Well Versed" soundtrack is slated for release Nov. 3.

Journalist Rachel Janfaza, who specializes in youth political culture, emphasized the importance of initiatives like "Well Versed" in facilitating civic engagement among young people.

She noted, "Young people are eager to get involved in the civic process but don't always know how or where to start — and given the state of U.S. civics education, they often look outside the classroom for civic opportunities.

"A video series that speaks directly to young people and incorporates pop culture references can help lower that initial barrier to access," she said. "It can also give young people something to talk about with their friends to better foster a participatory civic culture."

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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Politics
First Lady Jill Biden joined forces Friday with Nickelodeon and ATTN: on National Civics Day to introduce an educational initiative, "Well Versed," aimed at teaching young learners the principles of civics in a fresh and engaging way, reminiscent of the iconic "Schoolhouse ...
jill biden, well versed, schoolhouse rock, civics
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2023-14-27
Friday, 27 October 2023 04:14 PM
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