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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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Interior Supports Close-Up Foundation Youth Programs for Insular Areas



January 25, 2011
For more information please contact:
Jennifer Feng (202) 208-6974
Jennifer_Feng@ios.doi.gov

Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Tony Babauta 

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Areas, Tony Babauta, today signed a $262,500 grant to the Close Up Foundation.  Funding provides continued support for civic education programs that work with students, teachers and administrators from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
           
Students and teachers from across the insular areas spend a week in the nation's capital meeting with federal officials, engaging in substantive public policy workshops, current issues debates and visiting historical sites.

"Twenty three years later, the Office of Insular Affairs continues to avidly support the Close Up Foundation and its initiatives. Participants are provided unmatched leadership development experience and activities that promote educated and civically active young adults. Students are given the opportunity to explore and are exposed to a range of subject matters and comprehensive skills training. The program encourages open dialogue and exists as a wonderful forum for our youth to exchange ideas and enhance their rich and diverse understanding of our democracy," said Assistant Secretary Babauta.

"Close Up is excited to continue our program for students and teachers from the insular areas.  Over the last two decades, Close Up has brought these young people and their teachers from the islands to Washington to participate on our transformative civic education program.  Our island participants add so much diversity and depth to our program.  They educate their fellow students and teachers by offering their unique political and cultural perspectives to the public policy debate in which the nation is engaged.  We are also pleased that the grant will allow Close Up to expand our summer student civic education programs to additional communities this summer," said Timothy S. Davis, President and CEO, Close Up Foundation.

The Close Up Foundation, founded in 1971, is a nonprofit organization that educates and inspires young people to become informed and engaged citizens.  Close Up provides challenging, hands-on civic education programs that positively impact student civic attitudes and give teachers valuable insights to take back to classrooms nationwide.  Each year Close Up brings approximately 15,000 high school and middle school students and their teachers to Washington to participate in its renowned civic education program.