MAGAZINE FEATURE

Toolkit for "Rock the Vote"

This toolkit for “Rock the Vote” lists 12 practical ways teachers and their students can rock the vote at school.

Introduction

In her interview with Teaching Tolerance, Sarah Audelo, Rock the Vote’s former political and field director (and a former educator), discusses the issues that motivate millennial voters and how schools can inspire them to engage in the democratic process. The list below builds upon the interview and offers ideas that educators can use to foster civic engagement among students year-round.

 

Essential Questions

  1. How can educators build civic engagement among students?

 

Procedure

12 Ways to Rock the Vote at School

1. Go to rockthevote.com and pledge to rock the vote.

2. Encourage students to register to vote. In some communities, 16-year-olds are able to vote in local elections. Laws specific to your state can be found here.

3. Engage students in local races for school board, city council, mayor and state legislature.

4. Bring Rock the Vote’s Democracy Class (a 45-minute or 90-minute lesson) to your classroom.

5. Mobilize students with tasks and assignments, such as letter writing, to hold elected officials accountable for the promises they’ve made and to address the issues that students care about.

6. Create a democratic classroom culture with class constitutions and consensus-building practices.

7. Promote opportunities for students to serve as poll workers during election time.

8. Volunteer with students to register voters.

9. Challenge students to make sure that their family, friends and community members are participating on Election Day.

10. Highlight specific ways your students and youth in general are impacted by elections and the candidates’ policies on such topics as summer youth employment, public education or juvenile justice.

11. Teach about youth-led social justice movements that have made a difference in politics or that those running for office have grown out of.

12. Encourage and support students to attend town hall meetings or rallies where they are able to listen to and speak directly with candidates.

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