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About Unite US

Unite US is an exciting new programme from the Transformation Trust open to sixth form students who have an interest in politics. Students will either already be studying politics at A Level, or plan to study politics or a similar discipline at university.

Funded by the US Embassy and Arcadis, Unite US is available to any school in England, Scotland and Wales that has above average numbers of students eligible for the pupil premium, or equivalent.

Unite US aims to harness the passion and enthusiasm of young people to change their local community for the better. In teams of four, students are invited to create and execute local campaigns that encourage people to see beyond racial and faith divides, and to celebrate what unites us. This might be around a particular local issue or concern, or around a more national theme.

The best campaigns will use a full range of communication channels (including direct mail, traditional and social media, public meetings) and students will be asked to make a short film telling their campaign’s story and showing the impact it has made. Each team will also be asked to provide monthly reports on how many local people they have reached through their campaign.

Finalists Forum
The teams running the 20 most successful campaigns will be invited to a Finalists Forum in London early in the spring term. Each team will present their campaign to a panel of judges and the other school teams.

Ten short-listed schools will be awarded £100 to further the reach and impact of their projects up until the May half term break.

Winners
In the summer, four winning schools will be selected for places on the Study Trip to Washington DC. This is a fully funded trip and the Transformation Trust will cover the costs of accommodation, travel and food.

The trip will take place on 24th-30th June 2018 and will involve a range of professionals giving master-classes to the students, and opportunities to visit the iconic landmarks of Washington DC.

On their return to the UK, students will apply the lessons learnt in the US, and develop their work further, before participating in a final reunion session in London in October 2018 to present on the total impact of their project throughout the 12-month period, together with their plans to ensure the project has a lasting legacy.

How to Apply?

To register for Unite US, the Head of Politics or Head of Sixth Form should complete this form. Schools can submit as many teams as they wish.

Resource Center

We have loads of resources to help you deliver the best campaign for your community. We will keep updating the resources section every month so don't forget to check back.

Teaching guides
We have developed teaching guides to help teachers guide their students on how to make the best campaigns. The guide should be used in the first lesson to get the student thinking about their campaign.

Unite US Lesson Guide
Unite US Lesson Resource Powerpoint

Videos
Thinking about your campaign and need some tips? Watch these videos from experienced campaigners from the US and the UK to get their top tips to make your campaign the best possible.

Laurence Stellings

Laurence Stellings is a pollster and political strategists at Populus. His top tip is to use research and testing to make sure you really know what your local think or want.

Andrew Bookless

Andrew Bookless is a Political Campaign Director and has led campaigns in the UK and the US. His top tip is to be as organised as possible when running a campaign.

Andy Koehlinger

Andy Koehlinger works at Votespotter as mobile app that tracks the votes of elected officials in the US. His top tip is the best way to engage as many people as possible in a campaign is using data and social media.

Nathan Jarvis

Nathan is a Year 13 students who attended our study trip to Florida last year. One of his top tip is to have clear priorities in your campaign

Bethan Atkinson

Bethan is a year 13 student who took part in the study trip to Florida last year. One of her top tips is to stay resilient and keep persevering with your campaign.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Unite US?
Unite US is a fully funded programme for sixth formers who have an interest in politics. Through the programme, students are asked to work in team of four to devise and execute a campaign that will improve their local community. The campaign will focus on how to bridge any divisions in the local community, whether that is about addressing a specific local issue or something that has a national theme.

Who can take part in Unite US?
The programme is open to any school in England, Scotland and Wales that has a higher than average percentage of young people eligible for the pupil premium.

Sixth formers will either be studying politics at A Level or be thinking about studying politics or a similar discipline at university.

How do I register?
To register, the Head of Politics or Head of Sixth Form should complete this form.

What will the Finalists Forum involve?
This will take place in the spring term in London. The day will involve a number of guest speakers addressing the students who have been invited to attend. The main purpose of the day is, however, for the students to “pitch” their campaign to a panel of judges and all other schools attending.

From the 20 school teams attending, 10 will be selected to go through to the next round. Each of these 10 teams will receive £100 to further develop their campaign, and to take on board any feedback from the judging panel.

The Top 10 teams will then have a further 5 months to refine their campaigns and to reach even more people in their local community. The final deadline for the competition will be the May half term holidays. The top four school teams will then be selected to travel out to the US for the study trip to Washington DC.

What will the study tour to America involve?
This will be a trip from the 24th-30th June to Washington DC. Students will take part in a series of masterclasses held by leading political scientists. The trip will also include opportunities to visit all of the major DC sights, including: The White House, Congress, the Supreme Court, the monuments and the Smithsonian.

I have more questions...
If you have any more questions about Unite US, please contact Naa Acquah at naa.acquah@transformationtrust.org.uk or call The Transformation Trust office at 0207 148 0934





Timeline

September 2017 Launch of the programme
October 2017 – Feburary 2018 Work on your campaigns. We will be updating the website with new materials every month. You also need to submit a short video on the progress of your campaign every month.
1st Feb 2018 Deadline for full submission of impact of campaign
March 2018 Finalist Fourm- The top 20 teams will be invited to London to meet the panel and 10 teams will go through the next round. They will receive £100 to make their campaign even bigger!
June 2018 Final submission of impact of campaign
July 2018 The top 4 team will go on a fully funded trip to Washington DC!
October 2018 Final Reunion Session