America's Legislators Back to School Program Materials


Back to School BrochureThe Civics at NCSL Program makes available, free of charge, the following publication and video resource materials for high school, middle/junior high school and elementary school students to be used by state legislators visiting classrooms in conjunction with the program. To request copies of the materials, please contact your state legislative coordinator. State legislative coordinators may obtain copies by contacting

Program Materials



Adult | High School

 Your Ideas Count! Rep Dem and YouYour Ideas Count! Representative Democracy and You  This booklet, geared for adults, challenges readers to think about how they feel about our system of government and how representative democracy relates to them. This booklet would be appropriate for seniors in high school.


Graphic of inTime coverYour Ideas Count! inTime (new publication, August 2009) This special edition of inTime, published by TIME magazine for high school students, explores myths and realities about American democracy and challenges students to get involved. (© 2009, NCSL) Teacher's Guide


Middle/High School

Graphic of You Rule booklet coverYou Rule This colorful booklet tells young people in middle and high school that citizens really do rule in our system of democracy; that students can have a voice and that government does impact our lives. (© 2008, NCSL)




Videos (DVD)

    Middle School/ High School

Graphic of You Rule video coverYou Rule  Join four students, in this educational 18-minute video for middle and high school students, as they discover how, in American democracy, citizens really do rule and young people have a voice. (© 2008, NCSL)


Elementary School

The Citizen dvdThe Citizen (Grades 4-6)  Join the Citizen in a journey to learn about our republic and the roles and responsibilities of citizens. (© 2012, NCSL)




Materials No Longer Available in Print

Note:  Materials are available on the Back to School website for you to print or distribute electronically. Contact for more information about materials.

 Legislators Talking Points CardTalking Points Card  This easy-to-use, pocket-sized card for legislators provides messages and suggested classroom activities for all grade levels. All of the America's Legislators Back to School Program materials are listed on the card for easy reference. Additional information for legislators.



Middle/High School

 Your Ideas Count! Q & AYour Ideas Count! Questions and Answers about Representative Democracy  This colorful booklet is geared toward middle school and younger high school students and explains that disagreement is a natural part of the legislative process, that debate, negotiation and compromise are necessary, and that students' chances of being heard are better when they join with a group of people who share their views. (Also available in Spanish) Your Ideas Count! Questions and Answers about Representative Democracy (Teacher's Guide)

Your Ideas Count dvdYour Ideas Count! Questions & Answers about Representative Democracy  This 16-minute video, for middle and high school students, tells the story of five kids--Sean Duffy from MTV's Real World Boston and four of his friends--who visit the state capitol to find out what really happens when state lawmakers go into session and get down to business.



Elementary School

Your Ideas Count! TFK Extra! (Grades 2-3)  This fun-filled supplement edition to TIME for Kids, published by TIME magazine for 2nd and 3rd graders, helps them understand some very basic ideas about our system of government.




Your Ideas Count! TFK Extra! (Grades 4-6)  This supplement to TIME for Kids, published by TIME magazine, tells 4th-6th graders about representative democracy, how laws affect their lives and shows them that legislators are real people.
NCSL no longer has this publication in stock. If you would like to use it, you may print the PDF (here).

For further information about the America's Legislators Back to School Program, please call (303) 364-7700 and ask for Megan McClure, or send an email to