Registration Open For IEngage, IU Columbus Civics Camp for Kids

Registration is now open for a free weeklong camp at IU Columbus. The camp takes place June 24th through June 28th, for students currently in grades 4-8 to learn how to make a difference in their school, neighborhood and community.

Register for the iEngage civics camp at Early sign-up is encouraged; space is limited to the first 90 campers.

There is no cost to those who participate in iEngage. In addition to the camp itself, students are provided a camp t-shirt, lunch and snacks each day, and if needed, wrap-around care and transportation to and from the Foundation for Youth, 405 Hope Ave.

“We want youth to feel that this community also belongs to them, as we pass down democracy purposefully to the next generation,” explained Stephanie Serriere, Ph.D., iEngage Executive Director and IU Columbus Professor of Social Studies Education. “At a time when our nation is more polarized than ever, we are teaching young people how to work collaboratively, have their voices heard, and make a difference.”

Serriere noted that after participating in iEngage, last year’s campers:

  • increased their knowledge of what’s happening in the community
  • saw themselves as more involved citizens
  • increased their belief that they could make a difference in their community
  • were more likely to do research and get others involved in solving a community issue

The Columbus iEngage program closely involves local leaders in the non-profit sector, industry and public service.  iEngage features a different guest speaker each day, a community fair of local nonprofit groups, and mid-week presentations to a panel of local representatives. This year’s camp will also feature a session on college readiness and campus tours. On Friday, campers present their findings to the public during formal presentations and a celebration with root beer floats at the Columbus Learning Center.

New this year is the role of community-based codirectors, Angie Kirkham and Greicy Patiño, as well as a partnership with the Council for Youth Development (CYD). CYD’s new Youth Empowerment Program Coordinator, Freddie King, will serve as an iEngage Master Teacher, and CYD Youth Ambassadors will serve as camp interns. IU Columbus Education students and graduates will again serve as camp counselors. In addition, this year’s camp co-director is Elizabeth Osborn, Ph.D., representing IU’s Center on Representative Government.

The IU Columbus iEngage program is funded by the Heritage Fund Positive Change Grant, Duke Energy, the Cummins Foundation, Bill and Norma Perry Memorial Fund, Don and Doddy Harvey Philanthropic Fund, the IU Center on Representative Government, and IU’s Office of School and Community Partnerships through Lilly Endowment’s Indiana Youth Programs on Campus.

In addition, iEngage is partnered with the Foundation for Youth, the Council for Youth Development, Indiana University Columbus, Indiana University’s Political and Civic Engagement program, and Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation.

To learn more about iEngage, including how to get involved, visit To donate to the Columbus iEngage program, visit