LINCOLN – Kids Voting-Nebraska ABC is a new Civics Education program being offered by the Nebraska State Bar Foundation. Kids Voting, which provides nonpartisan lessons, resources, educational tools and hands-on activities, can be found at the Foundation’s website at https://www.nebarfnd.org/civics-education/kids-voting-nebraska-abc.
“In the 2016 presidential election year, 63 percent of the eligible voting population in Nebraska turned out to vote. While that’s above the national average, the Bar Foundation would like to improve that percentage. We believe Kids Voting-Nebraska ABC will create awareness and help instill lifelong voting habits in these kids when they reach voting age,” said Steve Guenzel of Lincoln, president of the Bar Foundation.
“The goals of Kids Voting-Nebraska ABC are to promote family conversations about citizenship, create lifelong voting habits and increase voter turnout,” Guenzel said.
Kids Voting is adaptable for in-person learning, distance learning and home schooling and includes activities that involve families. Curricula is designed for K-12 students in the following groupings: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. The online resources are provided free to school districts, schools, teachers and parents.
Each grade grouping includes activities and lessons in four areas: (1.) Civic engagement and service learning, (2.) Democracy and people, (3.) Election and voting and (4.) Informed citizen. Each grouping provides literature connections and culminating activities. Activities for high school students are broken into art, math, writing and reading.
Among the resources is a mock election unit using paper ballots or electronic voting. Kids Voting can be used in national and state elections, but also as a tool for student council voting or deciding other questions in a school, classroom or family. The following is a sample of subjects in each grade grouping:
K-2 – learning about democracy, forming opinions and making decisions, researching issues, gathering ideas and being smart information consumers.
3-5 – bumper stickers, debates, service projects, community needs, international pen pals, journaling, role playing and the Bill of Rights.
6-8 – debates, campaign signs, gender inequality, complaints and solutions, voter apathy, voter registration, polling places, voter barriers and the Declaration of Independence.
9-12 – debates, campaign buttons, political cartoons, exit polling, new voter registration, global neighbors, connecting with elected leaders and the Supreme Court on voter rights.
The Bar Foundation’s Kid Voting program is an affiliate of KidsVoting USA, a program administered by the Arizona Bar Foundation.