COUNTIES WORK

New online game let students 'run their own county'

A new game allows students across the country to learn about county government in a fun and interactive online setting.

The game is sponsored by iCivics, Inc., and the National Association of Counties (NACo).

The game, "Counties Work," is geared for students in grades 6 through 12. It is designed to teach the students about the important roles and functions of counties by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and webquest has been developed to assist teachers in preparing lessons on county government.

While playing the game, a student will be a county official responsible for providing services, dealing with citizen requests, setting and raising revenues, and working within a budget. Along the way, students will learn about the various services provided by counties while having to make tough decisions on spending and taxes while also facing re-election.

iCivics is a web-based educatiohn project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics is the vision of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is concerned that students are not getting the information and the tools they need for civic participation and that teachers do not have the tools they need to appropriately teach civics.

The county game is the only game on the iCivics website focused on local government. Other games cover the U.S. Constitution, the courts and federal government. iCivics has representatives in every state to promote the games and curricula to teachers and educators.