The 2016 Election has certainly been one that will go down in history, regardless of the outcome. While we can’t predict who will win, we wanted to make sure that our students and families know how important it is to have your voice heard!
At PA Virtual, we are always encouraging our students to give back to their communities – there is no better way to give back, than to vote. Many people think that their vote can’t make a difference, but especially at the local and state levels, one vote may be all you need to have your candidate pull through.
Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), is a national civic education program based at the University of Virginia Center for Politics that hosts the largest secure, online student-only mock election in the nation.
Studies have shown that election-related lesson plans often encourage future political participation in younger students. Programs like YLI give students the opportunity to learn about and become excited about our country’s history and democracy.
For younger students, this election cycle has certainly been stressful on parents struggling to find the best ways to educate children about the issues. While the issues at hand may be better understood by older students, younger ones could benefit from simply learning how the process works. PBS recently put together a great toolkit (Helping Kids Understand the Election) for parents on the best ways to teach children about voting and how kids can be involved!
Another organization dedicated to building political power in young adults and teens is Rock the Vote. Since the 1990’s they have used top trending musical artists, actors and celebrities to help spread their message and engage those on the cusp of turning 18.
No matter what age, remind students that politics isn’t boring – take them to the polls! It is important to teach future voters that the political process should engage, inspire, and affect real and lasting change. So, on November 8, encourage those around you to be a part of history and get out and vote!
Don’t know where to go? Find your polling place and make a plan.