National Civics Bee to test Northwest Colorado students |

National Civics Bee to test Northwest Colorado students

Whether a person was in school this morning or 40 years ago, paying attention to lessons about the duties of the House of Representatives or the apportionment of the Presidential Cabinet is key knowledge for every American.

This week will see local students show off their know-how in the National Civics Bee, which takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the Luttrell Barn Cultural Center, 411 Emerson St.

The event is hosted by Craig Chamber of Commerce as an educational competition for middle school aged children in Moffat and Routt counties.

The Civics Bee is part of a multi-state initiative through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s organization, The Civic Trust.

“The Civic Trust aims to energize and modernize America’s civic life by changing the conversation and perception of civics in classrooms, board rooms, on social media and through other platforms,” reads the organization’s website. “It supports and engages leading national and local stakeholders in its areas of programmatic focus, including civic literacy and civics at work.”

Lauren Hilley, a membership representative with the Craig Chamber, said the Colorado Chamber first reached out to Craig in December about hosting the bee.

Craig is among five total Chambers in the state to do so, including Buena Vista, Arvada, Pueblo and the Denver Metro area.

“We definitely believe civic education is important and nationally it’s not covered very extensively,” Hilley said. “It’s been a lot of community collaboration with a lot of different groups.”

Besides the Chamber, the Civics Bee is sponsored by Tri-State, Yampa Valley Community Foundation, and High Rapid Networks.

The local entrants have been narrowed down to nine finalists from Craig Middle School, Moffat County Christian Academy and Hayden based on a 500-word essay submitted earlier in the year.

The live event this week will require students to answer a series of questions on civic knowledge.

The top five contestants will move on to a final round which will include a presentation for five judges by giving a summary of their essays and answering further questions.

“We’re really looking forward to having these kids out there and celebrating civic engagement, knowledge, and education,” Hilley said. “The audience is also more than welcome to participate in the kind of questions students are being asked, and we will have a prize for the person that gets the most correct.”

An example quiz is available online at

She added that the topic at hand is one that is valuable for all ages.

“Individuals that are civic-minded make for better community members, better employees and people who are involved in improving economies and communities,” Hilley said. “It strengthens the nation as a whole.”

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