|Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov: https://www.pexels.com|
By Sam Piha
The 2022 election offers a number of opportunities to engage older youth. We can frame these efforts as “meaningful participation”, “civic engagement”, “youth leadership” or “community service”. There are a number of organizations and initiatives that have designed curriculums, program tools and other materials to assist afterschool providers in their efforts to engage youth in the 2022 election. Consider working with youth to organize a voter registration event in your school. At the end of the blog, we list some resources on how youth can get involved.
Did you know that:
-“Young people who have turned 18 since the 2020 election are a sizable group that is diversifying the electorate and can have a decisive impact on the midterms. There are an estimated 8.3 million newly eligible young voters for the 2022 midterm elections—meaning, youth who have turned 18 since the previous general election in November 2020. These 18- and 19-year-olds comprise 16% of the 18-29 age group for the 2022 election.” - Peter de Guzman, Researcher
-Young people can pre-register to vote at the age of 16. There are a number of ways that youth can be involved in the 2022 election, even if they are not old enough to vote. These include sponsoring a voter registration event, supporting family and friend’s participation, uplifting stories and issues they care about, supporting a candidate’s campaign through volunteering or being part of the election process.
-“There are distorted “assumptions about young people and how they participate in political processes that are common and are often triggered by lack of understanding and/or by prejudice. These persistent assumptions inaccurately characterize the everyday experiences of most youth – who do not constitute a homogenous group – and can lead to discrimination of young people, negatively affecting their capacity to participate in political processes… Assumptions about young people that distort the actual picture include the following:
- they are apathetic about and disengaged from politics – so, for example, they don’t bother voting
- they lack maturity, experience, and knowledge, implying they are not capable or intelligent enough to make informed decisions (such as when voting) and are easily manipulated
- they are “anti-state,” with a propensity for violence and extremism.” – The ACE Project
ELECTION VIDEO BY RAPPER, YELLOPAIN
We learned about how teachers and youth workers can use a video by rapper, Yellopain, entitled, "My Vote Don't Count," which can be viewed by clicking on the image below.
|Source: Yellopain, Youtube.com|
Below are a number of other resources that you can check out:
- Growing Voters: 18 Ways Youth Under 18 Can Contribute to Elections
- Afterschool Alliance Election Toolkit
- Rock the Vote Democracy Class
- The Civics Center- Bringing Voter Registration to Your School
You can also learn more by exploring these websites:
- Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE)
- Afterschool Alliance
- Rock the Vote
- The Civics Center
EDUCATION CULTURE WARS AND AFTERSCHOOL
In recent months schools and educators have been attacked under the guise of critical race theory, parent rights and the call to ban certain books. We published three LIAS blogs and a briefing paper (14 pages) on this topic of the education culture wars. We also sponsored a webinar entitled, Education Culture Wars and Maintaining Bipartisan Support for Afterschool. We posted a recording of this webinar on our How Kids Learn Youtube channel, which quickly received over 700 views.
New stories of the education culture wars continue to pepper the national news and we expect this to increase over the course of the upcoming election season.
Below we list some new articles:
- 3 Ways to Avoid Hurdles for Social-Emotional Learning
- A School Librarian Pushes Back on Censorship and Gets Death Threats and Online Harassment
- As Rhetoric Heats Up, Many Parents Fear Politicians Are Using Children As ‘Political Pawns’
- Banned-Book Author: If a Book Isn’t in the School Library, ‘It Might as Well Not Exist’
- Most parents want classrooms to be places of learning, not political battlegrounds
- ED Week Spotlight on Critical Race Theory