Governor Bill Lee announced Thursday, Oct. 10 the launch of the Governor’s Civics Seal and mini-grant program to provide support and recognize schools and districts that prioritize teaching the nation’s history and civic values.

“I am proud to launch this initiative to inspire our Tennessee students to be civically engaged,” said Gov. Lee. “By providing strong civics programming in our schools, we are ensuring that future generations will build upon the incredible progress our state and country has made.”

Having announced the Governor’s Civics Seal during his first State of the State address earlier this year, Gov. Lee allocated $500,000 to support public schools and districts implementing high-quality civic education programs that result in readiness for college, career, and civic life. A portion of these funds will be used for the Governor’s Civics Seal mini-grants, which will be awarded to schools and districts across the state.

Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said, “Instilling strong civic values in our students is important to ensuring they are life-long learners and active citizens. I look forward to working with Governor Lee to award mini-grants to schools and districts that champion this initiative and provide opportunities for students to learn about our government.”

Tennessee Department of Education will be using the allocated funds in part to award mini-grants to schools and districts that provide programs, resources, and professional learning opportunities that emphasize civic learning. Schools and districts excelling at these initiatives will be able to earn the Governor’s Civics Seal in the 2020-21 school year.

At the school level, the Governor’s Civics Seal mini-grants will be awarded to 20 rural and urban schools across Tennessee in the amount of $5,000 to $10,000. At the district level, $15,000 will be awarded to 10 rural or urban schools across the state.

The application window opens Friday, Oct. 25 and closes on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The department will be offering an online training beginning October 24 to provide more information to districts and schools on the Governor’s Civics Seal and associated mini-grants. For more information visit the Governor’s Civics Seal webpage.

For questions about the Governor’s Civics Seal and mini-grants contact Kadie Patterson, social studies and world language coordinator, at