Future leaders must understand how government works. Civics education is critical for young people, and municipal elected officials play a key role in that process.
Florida League of Cities President Isaac Salver, council member for the Town of Bay Harbor Islands, believes that civics education is critical for young people, and he believes municipal elected officials play a key role in that process. His president’s initiative, Readers2Leaders, focuses on connecting students to cities through reading and resources.
Education is a priority for Salver. His mother was a Holocaust survivor from Poland, and his father was an immigrant from Cuba. Salver’s mother spoke three languages, but she couldn’t read. She was unable to help Salver with his homework, but she and her husband were determined that their children were going to be educated. The education he received and the books he read laid the groundwork for his life’s work and his passion for public service.
President Salver’s initiative builds on the success of campaigns from previous League presidents. Gil Ziffer promoted the Let Cities Work campaign to tell legislators to take their hands off Home Rule. Bartow City Commissioner Leo E. Longworth helped to take that message to Florida’s citizens. Municipal leaders will continue to engage state lawmakers and city residents, and Salver’s initiative will keep the momentum going. Elected city officials will tell children from an early age about the importance of the cities they live in and the key role that government has in shaping their lives.
The initiative is underway. Schools have been visited to obtain feedback from students and teachers on ideas for a children’s picture book. The text has been written, and illustrations are being drawn. The book will be sent to every elected municipal official in Florida to read to ages pre-K through second grade. Other resources, designed to be shared by elected officials with schools, libraries, afterschool programs and municipal youth councils, are available below. The resources can also be incorporated into Florida City Government Week.
MuniMentor Program (All Ages)
Mentoring students is important and has the power to impact a student’s academic and personal life. Mentoring matches the volunteer mentor one-on-one with a student. He/she usually meets with the student at least once a week, spending 30 minutes to one hour with the student.
Children's Book (Pre-K - Second Grade)