Kids Voting USA Is Unique – Students “Learn by Doing” Participate in an authentic voting experience using a ballot that replicates the adult ballot Learn about citizenship and democracy at an early age Lessons are reinforced several times before turning 18
Students Learn Life Skills Learn to gather and analyze information to make well- informed decisions Develop critical-thinking skills Experience a variety of opinions and ideas
Family Interaction is Enhanced Students are motivated to start political discussions at home Builds an increased sense of empowerment and self-esteem Voting and civic participation become a family affair
Kids Voting USA Connects the Classroom, Family & Community Partnerships are critical to program success Everyone can play a role in preparing tomorrow’s citizens
Kids Voting USA Is a National Organization It began with a fishing trip… 46 affiliate programs in 28 states 4.3 million students 10,600 schools 50,000 volunteers 17,000 polling sites
Kids Voting USA in a Nonpartisan Organization Not aligned with a specific political party or position Not financed by political parties
No Child Left Behind Kids Voting USA was authorized in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. (P.L. 107-110) “…Programs to promote voter participation in American elections through programs,…such as Kids Voting USA. “
Kids Voting USA is a Nonprofit Organization Made possible by individuals, corporations and foundations The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation The U.S. Department of Education State Farm Insurance Companies New Profit, Inc. Home Depot Brown & Bain, P.A.
Outcomes Implement an excellent Kids Voting USA program in your own classroom and at your school site. Implement an excellent Kids Voting USA program in your own classroom and at your school site. Plan and teach a workshop to your colleagues which is modeled on this one. Plan and teach a workshop to your colleagues which is modeled on this one. Enlighten and excite students, teachers, and parents about the Kids Voting USA program. Enlighten and excite students, teachers, and parents about the Kids Voting USA program.
Process The local Kids Voting USA affiliate raises the funds, provides the classroom activity materials and inservice training, and recruits volunteers to offer an authentic voting experience. Teachers teach the classroom activities in grades K-12. On election day, students participate in an authentic voting experience.
Goals of Classroom Activities Instilling the importance of voting and discovering the empowerment the votes gives to students, Fostering skills of information-gathering and making critical decisions, across curriculum fields, Eliciting higher order thinking skills and empathy toward others, and Providing training in direct voting process.
Participatory Activities Self-Discovery Research shows - Groups Master and retain knowledge Develop problem solving skills Develop verbal skills and empathy All of which embody goals for informed voters.
Civics Alive! Civics Alive! is the core of the Kids Voting USA classroom activities and materials. It includes an Educator’s Guide. Civics Alive! is available by hard copy, online, or CD.
Civics Alive! Civics Alive! is a comprehensive series of K-12 classroom activities that enable students to develop knowledge through personal experience: Community is connected to the classroom. Culminates in an authentic voting experience.
Civics Alive! The Activities are grouped for grade levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12). All activities include teacher plans, handouts, and additional resources. The online version includes links to other websites. The Activities have been correlated to national curriculum standards.
Civics Alive! The activities are grouped into five core concepts: My vote gives me power. I have a right and a responsibility to vote. I study the candidates and issues. I register and vote. I continue to make a difference.
Civics Alive! Go to: www.kidsvotingusa.orgwww.kidsvotingusa.org Select: Teachers Only Click to directly access the classroom activities and materials page User id: Civics Password: Alive
Concept 2 I Have a Right and a Responsibility to Vote. “Apathy Cartoon” Pair up with someone near you. Work together to complete the Political Cartoons Analysis 1 Sheet. Share your analysis with the group.
Concept 3 I study the Candidate’s and Issues “Three Changes” Pair up with someone near you and stand, facing each other. Look at each other very carefully. Turn back-to-back and make 3 changes in your appearance. Raise your hand when finished.
“Three Changes” cont. Face each other and see if you can identify the three changes your partner made. Key questions: What activities can be used for multiple grade levels or content areas (i.e., English, Math).
Concept 4 I Register and Vote “Campaign Bumper Sticker” What are the characteristics of good bumper stickers you have seen? What are some of the “hot issues” in your community? Design and bumper sticker and share with the group.
Kids Voting USA activities can be used throughout the year. Which activities at each level can be used with concepts other than voting concepts? Which activities can be used for a different time period in history?
Destination Democracy High School service-learning classroom activity that integrates community service with civic engagement. Activities through Voting Voter registration Working for political candidates Educating young children about the political process Addressing community issues