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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Constitution Day learning opportunity: NC Pre-registration Law and Voter Registration

High schools...thinking about Constitution Day yet?

Here's a great way to celebrate. Teach students about the constitutional rights and responsibilities of voter registration, and then have students actually register to vote!

In North Carolina, September is Citizens Voter Registration Awareness Month. The Governor's office asks that each high school hold a voter registration drive. We suggest you do this in conjunction with Constitution Day. 

In North Carolina, students who are 16 or 17 years old are allowed to pre-register to vote. What's more, students who will be 18 by Election Day (November 8) can register to vote in this year's election. Of course, students who are already 18 are eligible to register and vote.

Our partners at the Board of Elections and Civic Education Consortium make this a fun, easy learning opportunity:

  • Set up a voter registration event in the month of September. Contact Kristin Mavromatis at the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections for more information.The BOE will provide materials and instructions - everything students need to register.
  • Use these educational resources (if that link doesn't work use this one go to bottom of page) to instruct your class on voter registration. The Civic Education Consortium offers 2 lessons and a powerpoint, aligned to NCSCOS and ready to use.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Educating literate citizens

This week, we had the opportunity to spend a day talking with middle and high school social studies teachers about ways to incorporate civic learning in the classroom. Great teachers with great ideas!

With so much emphasis on reading, writing, math and science, it's no small task. Yet, civic learning is a critical one. Students use civic knowledge and skills every year for school - and then will do so for the rest of their lives, as citizens, employees and community leaders.

If you think civic education is important, talk about it. Discuss with your child's teacher, the school principal, your neighbors and community leaders. Get involved in making a difference!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fact Check

Curious about a statement made by a political figure or candidate?

Here's a handy tool to use to check statements vs facts. is a nonpartisan website that promises it will "monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding."

The site also has a news quiz, place to submit questions, lesson plans and more. 

Checking facts is important for informed, active citizens. Listen to what the politicians or candidates have to say, then think critically about their statements. Make sure the information is accurate before forming your own opinions. Sometimes, a person makes a mistake, like when you say it is Tuesday when it is really Wednesday. Other times, a person says something that is partially or completely untrue. That's when you need to know how to know the difference.