Most parents hope their children grow up to be well-informed, respectful adults who are civically engaged. But children don’t go from preschool to the voting booth without some guidance.

 

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Today, 50% of young people grow up in non-voting households. Only about half of eligible voters participate in Presidential elections and about one-third participate in local elections. The figures are even lower for minority populations and young adults. The Kids Voting Minnesota Network is a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition working to help students statewide learn about the right to vote, democracy, civic responsibility, and the importance of participation in the political process.

 

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The Kids Voting program operates with four key components:

  1. Resources for educators to help create meaningful lessons and classroom discussions around key civic concepts.
  2. At-home activities to involve families in teaching their children their own civic values.
  3. An authentic Election Day voting experience where students in kindergarden through 12th grade cast their vote using the same process and ballot as the adults in their community. We provide ballot boxes, privacy screens and “I Voted” stickers.
  4. Support for statewide Kids Voting program coordinators to maximize resources and the sharing of best practices.

Click here to learn the steps for running a Kids Voting program in your building.

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Kids Voting Minnesota Network

The Kids Voting Minnesota Network is coordinated by Minnesota Civic Youth. To date we have more than 70 communities across Minnesota that will be participating this fall. For more information or to sign up to run a program in your school or community, contact Amy Anderson at 651-955-1679 or amy@mncivicyouth.org.

Kids Voting Edina uses Kids Voting resources in classrooms leading up to the election but has students cast their ballots in community-based polling places on Election Day. Communities have the option of setting up polling places in the schools or in the community.

“Our public schools serve a multitude of purposes. One very important purpose is to prepare students for life and citizenship. Students need to be provided with the knowledge and skills to meaningfully participate in society and our democracy. Implementing the “Kids Voting” program in your schools will give students an authentic Election Day experience that advances the critical citizen responsibility and knowledge required for voting. It is the most important role of citizenship. I encourage your district’s participation.”

∼  Dr. Dennis Rens
Former Superintendent
Fridley Public Schools