SOON AMERICANS WILL ELECT A NEW PRESIDENT
Here we are on July 4, 2016 celebrating our Independence—our right to be alive, free, and happy. Yet, in this morning’s newspaper (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), there was an editorial on Thomas Jefferson’s idea of “Debt of Service” and being a true American patriot. Part of being a true patriot is being an informed citizen. Yet, the editorial stated that “poll after poll shows a staggering lack of knowledge of civic affairs by most Americans. Newspaper readership is down and so are audiences for TV and radio news.” The Editorial went on to say that “Microsoft estimates that a mere 4% of web-users pay active attention to news sites.” With just months to go before the Presidential election, I ask each of you to pledge to be an informed voter, an educated citizen when you vote this November. Actually learn about the candidates and issues; read a newspaper or two—log on to web sites that compare/contrast the candidates and then cast a ballot in the upcoming election. This is your civic duty & your debt of service. "An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."
Note: Kids Voting USA has always had a "trickle-up" effect, that is students teaching parents. Since our Kids Voting students (under 18) vote in a "simulated" election, it might be a good idea to encourage students to ask parents or guardians to make a PLEDGE to vote in the upcoming Primary on August 2nd (in Missouri) and in the November Presidential election.
Sandy Diamond, Kids Voting Missouri
Our nation was founded on many basic rights and freedoms. Through the last several hundred years, many groups have struggled for one of our most precious rights—the right to vote. They have marched; they have protested; and they have given their lives for the right to cast a ballot.
Today, many countries around the world are still fighting for this right. Yet many Americans seem to "throw away their right to vote" by choosing not register to vote or even choosing not to cast their ballots if registered.
Kids Voting Missouri is trying to turn this around. We understand that today's youth are America's future.
Our goal is to empower young people early in life to participate in our democracy and let their voices be heard. By participating in Kids Voting students learn about government, democracy, voting, and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The program creates an expectation that they will become lifelong, informed voters at age 18.
Through our parent organization, Kids Voting USA, we provide wonderful classroom activities that encourage dialogue and community involvement. Likewise, these activities are aligned with the Missouri Learning Standards in Social Studies and English/Language Arts Literacy and help reinforce key knowledge and skills.
Kids Voting Missouri also provides an opportunity for an authentic voting experience for students in Pre-K through 12th grade. Weeks before the election, students learn about the candidates and issues and importance of registering and voting. They talk about politics, majority rule, branches and levels of government; they learn about compromise, dissent, and a representative democracy.
Then on or near Election Day, via Kids Voting USA's on-line voting system called DoubleClick Democracy, students have the opportunity to vote on many of the same candidates and issues as the adult voters.
By actively participating in Kids Voting Missouri, STUDENT VOICES CAN BE HEARD!