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Online Game Will Let Students ‘Run Their Own County’

Posted Date: 
August 3, 2011
Tom Goodman, Public Affairs Director, NACo

This fall, students in schools across the country will be able to learn about county government through an online game and curriculum that NACo created in partnership with iCivics, Inc.

The game, “Counties Work,” will educate students, grades 6 through 12, about the important role and functions of county government by letting them run their own county. A curriculum and webquest has also been developed to assist teachers with preparing lessons on county government.

While playing the game, a student will be a county official responsible for providing services, dealing with citizen requests, setting and raising revenues, and working within a budget. Along the way, students will learn about the various services provided by county departments while having to make tough decisions.

Created under the leadership of NACo President Glen Whitley and his initiative “County Government Works,” the online game is just one of the many projects that will serve as a long-lasting benefit to assist counties in raising public awareness of county government. 

“This is a great opportunity for students to better understand the programs and services that counties provide,” Whitley said. “We need to get students to play the game. I encourage county officials to contact teachers, principals and school superintendents in your county to let them know the game is available at”

iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and inspire them to be active participants in our democracy. iCivics was the vision of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who was concerned that students are not getting the information and tools they need for civic participation and that civics teachers need better materials and support.

The county game is the only game on the iCivics website focused on local government. Other games cover the U.S. Constitution, the courts and the federal government – the President, Congress and the Supreme Court. iCivics has representatives in every state to promote the games and curricula to teachers and educators.

NACo created “Counties Work” through the financial support from CVS/Caremark, NACo’s partner on the Prescription Discount Card Program.  NACo paid for half of the cost of the project.

Written by Tom Goodman, Public Affairs Director, NACo

Tom Goodman |