On the heels of publishing a white paper in 2019 titled, From Civic Education to a Civic Learning Ecosystem, Rajiv Vinnakota, president of the WW National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, NJ, planned to host a March convening to develop the goals and next steps based on the findings.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of COVID-19 delayed the gathering until Fall of 2020. Not wanting to lose momentum, the convening was transformed into a forty person online task force made up of diverse, highly-skilled professionals from across the civic learning field. Together the team developed a set of goals for the project, and divided into four working committees —program development, measurement, community of practice, publicity—to quickly create an outline for the grant competition and timeline to accommodate summer programming.
With an all-hands on deck approach and an incredible amount of work packed into three hectic months, staff from WW and a dedicated group of task force members moved the Civic Spring Project from concept to completion. By early June the project had close to 150 applicants, and on June 12 an external selection committee chose six grantees to run a set of programs for the Civic Spring Project pilot. And the rest, as they say, is history.