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September 19, 2023

Daniels Fund Grants $4.5 Million to Scale National Civics Bee

Partners with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to Meet Civics Education Need

The Daniels Fund, a private charitable foundation established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, announced today a $4.5 million grant agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to scale the National Civics Bee through 2026.

The grant comes at a critical juncture for civics education. In May 2023, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, referred to as “the nation’s report card” for civics education, exposed a decline in civics scores for the first time since the federal government began testing eighth graders in 1998. Nearly 80% of students are not proficient in civics, proving a growing need for civics education initiatives such as the National Civics Bee.

In 2023, National Civics Bee competitions for middle school students were held in more than 50 cities in nine states. A three-year, $4.5 million grant from the Daniels Fund will allow the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to scale these Bees to all 50 states and host a national championship by 2026, coinciding with the 250th birthday of the United States.

“From the very beginning, the founders of our country understood that for the American form of government to thrive, its citizens would need to be informed and engaged in our processes,” said Daniels Fund President and CEO Hanna Skandera. “Our partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will ensure that America’s future leaders are equipped to do just that.” National Civics Bee competitions are hosted by local chambers of commerce and invite middle school-aged students to first write an essay about a community issue. Those essays are reviewed by a panel of local judges and students are selected to participate in a local competition where they compete alongside peers and answer several questions related to our country’s founding and system of government. Local winners advance to a state competition to compete for a final cash prize and the ultimate recognition as the state champion. (Video: 2023 National Civics Bee Highlights)

The latest Daniels Fund grant will allow the competitions to expand to at least 30 states in 2024, with the goal of state and local chambers hosting hundreds of National Civics Bee events across the country. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, in partnership with the Daniels Fund, will host the first-ever national competition with each state winner competing for the ultimate recognition in the fall of 2024.

The essay submission process will open in November 2023 for interested participants in the next National Civics Bee. Any chamber or business interested in hosting or supporting a competition can learn more about the process by visiting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation website.

SHIFTCareerPictured: Graduate winning team from the University of Denver (left to right): Lindsay Salas, Lauren Butterfield, Miranda Bender, Mario Di Dio, Taylor Motsenbocker and Antonio Valencia.
About the Daniels Fund
The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program, and ethics initiative. Visit to learn more.

About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation harnesses the power of business to create solutions for the good of America and the world. We anticipate, develop, and deploy solutions to challenges facing communities—today and tomorrow.

About the National Civics Bee The National Civics Bee, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Civic Trust, is an annual competition aimed at improving civics education and literacy among middle school students, their families and communities. The National Civics Bee helps elevate civics as a national priority through a network of state and local chambers across the country. The National Civics Bee is made possible through the generous support of its founding partner, the Daniels Fund, and other funders.

Media Contact: Dave Dziok
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