Virtual Republic

Website review by
Jennifer Sitkin, Common Sense Media
Virtual Republic Website Poster Image
Current-event site designed to get kids into activism.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about current issues as well as how they can become informed and active citizens in their communities. Though intended for classroom use, the content can be valuable to kids who just want to learn more about the issues that are facing our world today and how they have been addressed in the past. Kids can read articles on a range of issues including community college tuition, veteran's benefits, immunizations, and much more. In addition, kids can find relevant resources and get involved in organizations to be part of the change in improving their community. Virtual Republic helps kids become active, productive future members of society by getting them involved in current events and causes they care about.

Positive Messages

Goal is to build informed, active citizens who care about their communities.


Virtual Republic is a free, educational website with no advertisements. Does provide links to external sites that may have ad banners.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Virtual Republic is a free, educational website that covers a range of current issues. If parents are looking to get their kids thinking about how they can be involved citizens, or if they are helping their kids understand topics they're studying in school, Virtual Republic is a good website to visit. It has short, well-written articles on a range of topics. Parents should realize they can't post comments on the site without their kids being part of a registered class, but they can still read proposed solutions and comments to stimulate debate at home.

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What's it about?

VIRTUAL REPUBLIC is a free, online website that provides a forum to learn about and discuss solutions to current issues. Part of the Colonial Williamsburg educator resources, the website was developed for school use but can be used by parents who want to engage with their kids about current issues. Issues are sorted by topic, case study, or date. Each issue page includes a short article on the issue and links to additional content, including how the issue relates to you and current and past policy. In addition, there are policy solutions and proposed actions that encourage discussion and civic involvement. The discussions are monitored, and kids must follow rules of engagement and be part of a registered class if they post comments.

Is it any good?

This is a valuable tool for informing kids about current events and how kids have a role in addressing key issues facing the world and their communities. The site is easy to navigate, and the articles are written for a secondary audience. The focus on how each issue relates to "you" emphasizes personal connections and responsibility, which should increase learning. The content on the site is primarily text-based, so parents will need to supplement with multimedia or answer questions to be sure kids are understanding the issue. But the emphasis on taking action is supported by a list of organizations that can be used to get kids involved in their communities. Virtual Republic could be the site that helps your kids gain and keep an interest in being politically and socially active.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about current issues and related policies past and present. How have policies in the past helped present issues? How have they hindered them?

  • Debate different current event topics -- perhaps how to pay for college, immunization requirements, and the right to protest. Are these issues that will be resolved soon, or do you think these topics will continue to come up in society?

Website details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love current events

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