Assessing the Civic Attitudes and Participation of Urban Elementary Students


  • Christopher Weiss Columbia University
  • E. Christine Baker-Smith Columbia University



Presented is a report of a study conducted to examine Common Cents’ Penny Harvest program in New York City public elementary schools. Penny Harvest is a service learning program designed to promote positive social and civic values among youth. The goal of this paper is to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the research design in an effort to contribute new insight into effective and appropriate ways to measure civic-service-program success. Additionally, this work provides program results for the program evaluated. Our findings indicate that students in New York City public schools are highly involved in service projects – both in-school and outside of school. We present additional evidence on how such participation is related to a host of social and civic attitudes. Finally, we critique the research design used in this study and offer improvements to be made in future studies.






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