Voting project involves students in democracy

A Unionville High School student will help debut the 2016 Kids Voting USA project.

Approximately 33,000 students from over 50 Chester County schools are expected to cast their ballot in the initiative, which is coordinated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit, according to a CCIU press release.

The Kids Voting kickoff ceremony will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 11 a.m. at the historic Chester County Courthouse, located at the corner of Market and High Streets in downtown West Chester. The ceremony will include speeches from students and legislators, a mock voter registration for students, and a “wish tree” ceremony during which students share their hopes for the country.

The speakers will include U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6; Chester County Commissioners Kathi Cozzone and Michelle Kichline; 
and Joseph J. O’Brien, the CCIU’s executive director. Students from St. Agnes School in West Chester will participate in the wish tree presentation and mock registration, and Matthew Daniels from Unionville High will speak on “What Democracy Means to Me,” the release said.

As part of the project, students study the candidates and issues of the presidential campaign. Parents are encouraged to spend time with their children discussing the candidates and issues and gathering information from the media.

Chester County students will be invited to vote online for their candidate from Nov. 1 through Nov. 8. Students take part in a voting experience using a ballot that mirrors that of the adults with the same candidates and issues. This “real life” practice dispels the mysteries of the voting process and reinforces the knowledge and skills gained through Kids Voting classroom activities. Over the past five presidential elections, Chester County students have accurately predicted our nation’s next commander-in-chief, the release said.

Kids Voting teaches children about the value of voting as well as the requirements and procedures for voting and develops critical thinking and decision-making skills. It is a national network of community-based affiliates that partner with schools and election officials to offer students in kindergarten through high school a wide range of opportunities for civic learning. It is the combination of classroom instruction, family dialogue, and an authentic voting experience that makes Kids Voting a powerful strategy for achieving long-term change in voting behavior, the release said.

 For more information on Kids Voting USA, visit www.kidsvotingusa.org, or contact Jennifer Shealy at JenniferSh@cciu.org or 484-237-5053.

 

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