National Survey Highlights Importance of Character and Citizenship Education
ATLANTA, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national survey of 2,252 youth age 8-18 on character and citizenship -- conducted for National Boys & Girls Club Week 2012 (April 15 - 21) -- shows the youth of our country are very concerned about issues of character and citizenship. While many candidates and pundits during this election cycle have downplayed the importance of character, the survey results show youth consider "good character and strong ethics" to be the top attribute of a U.S. President.
The "2012 BGCA Youth Survey on Character and Citizenship" asked young people their opinions on important leadership qualities and found:
1. Youth consider "good character and strong ethics" to be the most important attribute of the U.S. President.
2. The majority (77 percent) of youth surveyed say "character" would matter if they could vote for President.
3. "Drugs and alcohol abuse" is the most important issue youth face that they want the government to address.
"It's been said that character is about what we do when no one is looking," says BGCA national spokesperson and Club alum Denzel Washington. "I've tried to teach my children that good character is about being a good, moral, trustworthy person and I'm encouraged by the results of this survey."
Since taking office in January, Boys & Girls Clubs of America's new President and CEO Jim Clark has been traveling the country talking with youth about important issues, chief among them character and community service.
"Good character and citizenship are absolutely critical in terms of a child's future success," says Clark. "When young people understand this and embrace it, they can make a profound difference in their own communities."
Clark adds: "There is no greater calling than service to others. When young people understand that, they begin to take better care of their neighborhoods and engage in their communities in a positive way."
The future of this nation and its young people are intricately entwined. Every day, some 15 million kids go without a safe, structured and supervised environment during the critical out-of-school time. With a network of nearly 4,000 Clubs, BGCA has the capacity to make a strong impact on millions of at-risk youth.
In celebration of National Boys & Girls Club Week, BGCA has launched a virtual Club tour opening the doors for everyone to see how great futures begin (GreatFutures.org/ClubTour).
The non-profit organization is taking the opportunity during this Presidential election year to help young people become engaged in community issues and to call for America's leaders to make today's youth a top priority.
Historically, young people are rarely given the opportunity to voice their needs and concerns. They have no power to vote, but the decisions made today determine their future. If the U.S. is to maintain its competitive edge, parents, caregivers, educators and community leaders must address the high school dropout crisis, teach our children to live healthy lifestyles and show them the importance of good character and citizenship.
- What do you see at the most important attribute of the U.S. President?
○ 33.8% - Good character and strong ethics
○ 26.7% - Education
○ 19.0% - Ability to inspire people
○ 14.1% - A successful track record in government
○ 6.4% - Experience in foreign policy
- Would a candidate's character matter to you if you could vote for President?
○ 76.9% - Yes
○ 23.1% - No
- What is the most important issue facing youth you would like the government to address?
○ 28.2% - Drugs/alcohol abuse
○ 15.7% - Cost of college
○ 13.5% - Teen pregnancy
○ 12.2% - Crime/violence
○ 11.4% - High school dropouts
○ 8.3% - More youth jobs
○ 6.9% - Peer pressure
○ 3.7% - Poverty
Methodology: The online survey was conducted for National Boys & Girls Club Week 2012 (April 15-21) using SurveyMonkey.com. 2,252 youth participated in the survey.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country. Children and families of the U.S. Armed Services receive Club programs and support through BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers located on U.S. military installations worldwide. Clubs provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America