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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shout-out for a friend, teacher and volunteer

Our friend, teacher and volunteer Ted Dickson deserves the recognition he is getting after Obama aide Reggie Love named Ted his favorite teacher! 

Ted has been been involved in Kids Voting for over 15 years, serving and chairing the Board of Directors, writing curriculum, involving his school, Providence Day, in Kids Voting programs, and much more.

Read about Ted Dickson and Reggie Love, then watch the PSA!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Make local government matter

We just wrapped up the Fall 2010 course of YouthCivics. It was a lot of fun!  (View more photos here.)We took 40 teens to learn about and experience important parts of civic life, including:
  • The Charlotte Observer and news media;
  • City of Charlotte and City Council;
  • Mecklenburg County and Board of County Commissioners;
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Board of Education;
  • Board of Elections; and
  • Sheriff's Office and the Mecklenburg County.

The next course starts this winter. We'll post registration information soon. Additionally, this winter and spring be sure to check this blog and our main website Kids Voting Mecklenburg for more ways to get involved in the decisions that impact the community...and YOU. You'll hear a lot about the government budgets - county, city, schools and state - and we'll give everyone ways to learn about the process, talk to leaders and make your voice heard.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Where does the First Amendment impact you today?

Charlotte Observer Rick Thames discusses the First Amendment with teens at
Kids Voting Mecklenburg's YouthCivics class in November 2010

With stories in the news about Wikileaks and protests streets at funerals, many people are talking these days about the First Amendment of the US Constitution.  It protects American freedoms including religion and expression.

This seems pretty clear, right? Not always. Sometimes, courts must evaluate First Amendment rights within certain situations. Some questions to think about and talk about:
  • What do you think is most important about the First Amendment?
  • What are some situations where you think the courts should intervene?
  • If you were a writer of the US Constitution, would you have written the First Amendment? Would you have made changes?
  • Is a document written over 200 years ago still relevant today? Why or why not?
  • If you served on the Supreme Court today, how would you balance the First Amendment with legal issues such as Wikileaks or groups protesting the funerals of soldiers?
  • Does the First Amendment cover all forms of the press, including blogs? High school newspapers? Downloadable songs?
  • Do local and state government officials deal with First Amendment issues? Like what?
  • Are there differences in the way newspapers such as the New York Times and the Charlotte Observer collect, investigate and report news, and how Wikileaks does it?
Learn more
Library of Congress
First Amendment Center
National Archives transcript
See how much you know - take the First Amendment quiz

Friday, December 3, 2010

Teens: Your chance to talk CMS with Peter Gorman

Interested in school policies and issues? Have a great idea for solving the budget crisis? Want to learn more about ways to get involved in and impact decisions before they are made?

Teens will meet with CMS superintendent Peter Gorman on Tuesday, December 7 at 5PM at the Government Center.  The meeting is hosted by Mecklenburg Youth Voice, a youth-driven teen leadership program of Kids Voting Mecklenburg.

  • All high school students are invited to participate.
  • The CMS dialogue will be 5-6PM. We will start at 5:00 sharp. After that, students will meet 6-7PM to cover other important issues, plan future meetings with leaders and more.
See you there! Here's information about where we'll be and things to think about to get ready.
  • The Government Center is located at 600 E 4th Street (28202). Parking is available in the public deck, located off of Davidson Street between 3rd and 4th Streets. Student drop-off and pick up is outside of the Government Center in the semi-circle driveway off of 4th St.
  • The meeting will be in room 266 on the 2nd floor.
  • Learn more about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Read about CMS through Charlotte Observer coverage and education blog
  • For more information, check the Mecklenburg Youth Voice page on Facebook or contact or 704-343-6999.

Need a special invitation? Here you go: from Meck Youth Voice members Halston Lim, Aidan McConnell and Jalen Feaster!