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On March 27, good citizens met Gov. Phil Scott and were recognized by the Vermont House for their contributions to their communities. We spoke to the young people about what it means to be a good citizen and what they learned from this challenge.

Thanks, Good Citizens!

Dozens of Vermont students completed the first Good Citizen Challenge over the summer of 2018. The next Challenge will take place during the 2019-2020 school year. Look for it in September.

How it works:

Participants earn points for completing civics-themed activities. Those who earn at least 251 points — the number of towns in Vermont — will receive a Good Citizen medal, a pocket-sized U.S. Constitution and a chance to meet local lawmakers. The first 100 students to complete the Challenge will receive a Good Citizen T-shirt.

We will announce the details of the next Good Citizen Challenge in September 2019.

Hey, teachers!

Want to do this activity with your students this fall?


(5) 8.5″ x 11″ pages in .pdf format (600k)

Want info about the next Challenge?

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Add 5 bonus points for each activity you or a parent post on social media using this hashtag.


“However we choose to fulfill our civic duty, each of us has a role to play. This responsibility to and respect for each other is part of what makes Vermont so special. So that’s why I’m very pleased to help celebrate the launch of this program, which I hope will encourage young Vermonters to learn more about our state, their communities, government and our civic responsibilities.”

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
“It’s just very exciting for me to see [the Good Citizen Challenge] and the idea that you can get points by having a conversation with someone who you disagree with, and see what you learn from it. Because really, that’s what happens in this building all the time.”
Lt. Governor David Zuckerman
“I’m often asked to visit high schools and colleges to talk about civic engagement, and my message is always: Even if you can’t vote yet, there are so many important ways you can get involved.”
Secretary of State Jim Condos

“There are real people behind stereotypes we paint of the other side. The Good Citizen Challenge helps more young people understand that when you engage in the discourse, those stereotypes start to fade. And you start to truly understand what it means to be a good citizen.”

Ethan Sonneborn, 14, candidate for governor
“Our youth have so much to offer. We simply, in light of the opportunities and the challenges we face today, cannot afford to squander that potential.”
Liz Gamache, Vermont Community Foundation; former mayor of St. Albans
Cathy Resmer

“How can Americans participate in their democracy — or defend it — if they don’t understand the principles on which it rests? As former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said, ‘Civic knowledge can’t be handed down the gene pool. It has to be learned.'”

Cathy Resmer, Seven Days / Kids VT

Photo: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur



In 2019, we the people of the United States are deeply divided — by gender, race, political affiliation and socio-economic status. What better time to focus on the democratic values we all share?

The Good Citizen Challenge is organized by Burlington-based Seven Days — Vermont’s locally owned, independent newsweekly — and its free monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT, with support from the Vermont Community Foundation.

Vermont Community Foundation
Kids VT
Seven Days


The following organizations helped create and/or promote the Good Citizen Challenge. Find activities related to their efforts on the 2018 Challenge Scorecard.

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