Find our new content and programs at

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rate the candidates

Before voting in this year’s school board election, learn about the candidates and decide where they stand on issues that matter to you. Rank the candidates on each issue, with 1= worst and 10=best. Then, add up the scores and see which candidates look the best to you! (3 At-Large seats are up for election in 2011.)



Short candidate video interviews: 
  • Testing – Do you support standardized tests in every subject and grade?
  • Teachers – How should CMS attract and retain great teachers?
  • Focus – Where should CMS focus on students...high-achievers, at-risk or students in the middle?
  • Charter Schools – What is the role of charter schools at CMS?
  • Diversity – What kind of diversity is most important at CMS?
  • AP Classes – Should there be more AP classes at high schools?
  • Equity – Should all schools get the same resources and how will you know if this is happening?
  • Deconsolidate – Is CMS too big?
  • Youth Voice – Should CMS involve students in policy and decision-making?
  • Information – How are you informed about CMS?

Find these links and more at

Student vote on school board, mayor and council candidates – October 24-November 8

    Youth Voice students Maya Fleming (East Mecklenburg), Jalen Feaster (Mallard Creek) and Aidan McConnell (Providence) questioned school board candidates. Click here to view videos

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Students weigh in on school board and mayor, learn government and civics

Mecklenburg County students have the opportunity to learn about government and civic participation through a community-wide mock voting event hosted by Kids Voting Mecklenburg.

K-12 students experience elections through learning about and voting on real candidates and issues – this year, offices include mayor and school board - and taking part in community service-learning. While the results aren’t official, they are counted and reported publicly. Over 45,000 local students participated in last year’s mid-term elections.

The program links to classroom education in a variety of disciplines through study about government, leadership, elections and voting, decision-making, critical-thinking and analysis of information. Classroom resources are available free for local educators, families and youth programs at

In addition to classroom study, students have the opportunity to experience elections though a variety of hands-on activities:

Visit to access the online ballot, identify voting sites where Kids Voting booths will be located, learn dates and times for Kids Voting Days and more. Use the Rate the Candidates activity and get ready to vote by learning about the offices on the ballot.

The Kids Voting Election is one program offered by Kids Voting Mecklenburg, a civic education organization teaching K-12 students about government, civic participation and leadership. Other programs through the year include K-12 civic education and teen programs such as YouthCivics and Youth Voice/Leadership Alliance. Programs help students in school, build civic literacy and develop young people as effective citizens and leaders.

For more information visit or, or email or call 704-343-6999.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaching about the election?

Teaching about the election? There's more to it than voting! Here are a few ways to link the election and civic learning with other subjects:

  • Reading comprehension of informational text
  • Reading and following instructions
  • Analyzing information about candidates and election
  • Making informed decisions based on information
  • Communicating a position effectively
  • Evaluating communication skills of candidates
  • Media literacy
  • Using technology to gather and assess information
  • Counting votes
  • Grouping like items and seeing patterns
  • Measuring paper for the voting chains and ballots
  • Calculating percentages of votes or turnout
  • Graphing
  • Venn diagrams using local government services or qualities of leaders and politicians
Social studies
  • Local government
  • Democratic process
  • Elections and civic participation
  • Examining roles of leaders and citizens
  • Comparing and contrasting local issues with historic, statewide, national or global issues
  • Comparing and contrasting local government roles and services with historic, statewide, national or global roles and services
Many applications to 21st century learning
  • Civic literacy
  • Information literacy
  • Media literacy
  • Government and civics
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Analyzing information
  • Communication
  • Problem solving

Visit our Classroom Resource Library for age-appropriate lessons and activities aligned to the Standard Course of Study

Get ready for Election 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Make your voice heard

Here's your chance to question the school board candidates! Attend the candidate forum on Wednesday, October 19 at 6:45-8:30PM. It will be at CPCC Main Campus, in the Overcash Building. - use the Google directions for Halton Theater.

Learn more:

We will offer service/extra credit to students who attend!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting ready to vote

Getting ready to vote in Election 2011? Here's some information to help!

Download these files

Charlotte - Middle and High School or Elementary
South Mecklenburg towns - Middle and High School or Elementary
North Mecklenburg town s- Middle and High School or Elementary



Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville

Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville


Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville

Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Learning about candidates


Getting ready to vote in Election 2011?

First, you need to learn about the candidates who are running for office. Here are some great places to start reading candidate profiles, checking out their positions and websites, and watching videos. We will continue to post links here through Election 2011 - check back to see the updates!


List of candidates
Teaching about the election?

MeckEd candidate profiles
CMS candidate profiles
Kids Voting/WTVI/League of Women Voters video interviews 
Charlotte Observer profiles in grid form
UNC-TV Candidate Profiles
Larry Bumgarner
Elyse Dashew
Ericka Ellis-Stewart
Keith Hurley
Mary McCray
DeShauna McLamb (no website)
Tim Morgan
Ken Nelson
Hans Plotseneder
Aaron Pomis
Darrin Rankin
Lloyd Scher
Jeff Wise


WTVI videos/debate (coming soon)
Charlotte Observer candidate profiles (coming soon)
UNC-TV Candidate Profiles
Anthony Foxx (D)
Scott Stone (R)

Jeff Tarte running unopposed Election 2011 news
UNC-TV Voter Guide

Huntersville Herald questions Election 2011 news
UNC-TV Voter Guide
Vince Winegardner
John Woods

UNC-TV Voter Guide
Lake Norman Citizen profiles
Lake Norman Citizen Tilley info (toward end of story )
Huntersville Herald (coming soon)
Beth (Danae) Caulfield
Jill Swain

UNC-TV Voter Guide
Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly profile

Jim Taylor (unopposed)

Mint Hill
UNC-TV Voter Guide
Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly profile 
Ted Biggers
Jean Bonner (no website)

George Fowler (unopposed)

Charlotte - At-Large

Patrick Cannon
Claire Fallon
David Howard
Beth Pickering
Christopher Hailey
Mohamed Moustafa
Edwin Peacock
Curtis Watkins
Alexander Vuchnich

District Map

District 1
Patsy Kinsey (D)

District 2
James Mitchell (D)

District 3
LaWana Mayfield (D)
Ed Toney (R)

District 4
Michael Barnes (D)
Larry Shannon (R)

District 5
John Autry (D)
Dennis Peterson (R)

District 6
Andy Dulin

District 7
Warren Cooksey

Cornelius Board of Commissioners
John Bradford III
Dave Gilroy
Jeff Hare
Lynette Rinker
Thurman Ross
Chuck Travis

Kristen Coupal
Jim Fuller
Rodney Graham
Brian Jenest
Mickey Pettus
Laurie Venzon
Connie Wessner

Melinda Bales
Adam Boatsman
Charles Guignard
Charles Jeter
Ron Julian
Sarah McAulay
Dempsey Miller
Jeff Neely
Danny Phillips
Adam Planty
Brian Sisson

Paul Bailey
Suzanne Gulley
Jeff Miller
Nancy LaFond Moore
Joe Pata
Kress Query
John Urban

Mint Hill
Lloyd D. Austin
Carl (Mickey) Ellington
Christopher McAvoy
Brenda McRae
Eric S. Random
Katrina (Tina) Weaver Ross
Derrick Snyder

Al Baskins
Libby Boyd Boatwright
Melissa Rogers Davis
Jim Eschert
Deborah Fowler
Les Gladden
David Macala
David Phillips

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Educators, we're here for you!

Civics in Action: programs and resources for your classrooms and students 

Kids Voting Mecklenburg is Charlotte's organization dedicated to K-12 civic education. Our programs and resources focus on themes about government, civic participation and leadership to help students in school, build civic literacy and develop young people as effective citizens and leaders.

We combine classroom education and community learning opportunities to maximize comprehension and impact. It’s the best way for students to develop civic literacy and build leadership skills. 

Classroom Resources
  • Tools: Classroom Resource Library and Civic Learning Center
    • Curriculum and resources for civic learning opportunities through the year
    • Some PDF files require a password: civicliteracy
  • Themes center on government, civic participation, law, leadership
  • Flexible and easy to use.  Aligned to NC Standard Course of Study.
  • Civic Education partners include Kids Voting USA, Civic Action Project, NC Civic Education Consortium, iCivics, Newspapers in Education and others.
  • Guides aligning civic education resources to local government resources, leaders, issues. Local curriculum and resources about local/state/national government, leaders, civic participation, current events, etc.
  • Teacher support and professional development opportunities

Civic Learning Opportunities

Learn more

Integrating civic literacy from an early age though high school 
Education Impact 
Overview - Civic Learning Opportunities
Overview - Classroom Resources
Teacher overview

School Representative
Sign up for e-news and updates
Contact Kids Voting or

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Community service opportunity

Kids Voting is recruiting volunteers to serve as Captains to lead and staff student voting booths for Election 2011. This is a great activity for students, PTAs, businesses, youth groups and others. Service hours are available.

Kids Voting Election
The Kids Voting election is a civic learning opportunity that gives K-12 students a chance to learn about elections and voting by casting ballots on real candidates and issues. In 2010, over 45,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg students participated. More information is posted at

Precinct Captain
The captain will be responsible for: attending training; lining up volunteers needed to staff the site and being available to them on your voting date(s); working closely with election officials; managing the Kids Voting booth and ensuring a smooth and orderly election experience; returning ballots and supplies to Kids Voting on Election Night and providing feedback and ideas for Election 2012.

We are looking for captains for two different opportunities:

A. Early Voting - earn up to 25 hours of service Manage a site on Friday October 28 11AM-5PM, Saturday October 29 10AM-1PM, Sunday October 30 1-4PM, and Saturday November 5 10AM-1PM. You can work with a co-captain, and lead a group of volunteers who will staff your voting site (usually working 2 at a time in 3 hour shifts, often fewer individual volunteers working longer shifts if they are students earning service hours). UPDATE: THESE SITES NOW HAVE CAPTAINS. THANK YOU!

B. Election Day - earn up to 10 hours of service
Manage a site on Tuesday, November 8 at 3:30-7:30PM


Note: As captain, you do not have to personally be at your site the entire time if you have volunteers working for you. Here's an example of a volunteer schedule.

The captain will attend a one-hour training in mid/late October 2011 (dates will be provided after you register as a captain) for information and supplies.

Sign up to be a captain
Contact with the following information:
1. Student name
2. School, business or organization name
3. Email and phone number
4. If you are interested in (A) Early Voting or (B) Election Day, or both
5. Area of city/county where you would like to volunteer - we will work with you to identify a site. Sites are located across the community. Sign up today!
Example of voting sites where captains are needed - this list changes frequently

This is a great time to get involved. You can earn service hours, enjoy the excitement of the election, and be first in line to participate for Election 2012.

About Kids Voting Mecklenburg

Kids Voting Mecklenburg educates K-12 students about government, civic participation and leadership through a combination of classroom activities and community learning opportunities throughout the year. Programs and resources help students in school, build civic literacy and develop young people as effective citizens and leaders.

Learn more
Email or call 704-343-6999

Monday, October 3, 2011

An unconventional look at political conventions

Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI) and its partners - including Kids Voting Mecklenburg - will present “Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” on Friday, Oct. 14, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the UNC Charlotte Center City Campus in Uptown Charlotte.

With this installment of its multidisciplinary speakers series, CTI invites the Charlotte community to take an unconventional look at political conventions. Sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the program features five faculty members representing diverse academic disciplines from Davidson College, UNC Charlotte and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Speakers will offer their individual perspectives on various aspects of political conventions, as well as the Democratic National Convention to be held in Charlotte in September 2012.

“Exploding Canons: The Changing Landscapes of Political Conventions” begins with a reception in the Center City Atrium at 5:30 pm., followed by the panel discussion from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Center City Auditorium. Featured topics and discussion leaders are:

  • From Candidate to Nominee: The Rules Behind the 2012 Presidential Nominations,” Josh Putnam, visiting assistant professor of political science, Davidson College
  • Charlotte: The (Un)Conventional City,” Heather Smith, associate professor of geography and earth studies and Urban Institute faculty research associate, UNC Charlotte
  • “Political Socialization: Find Ourselves in Film,” Jeff Joyce, social studies department chair and AP government teacher, W. A. Hough High School
  • "Beyond Citizens-in-the-Making: Changing Understandings of Youth Political Identities," Jessica Taft, assistant professor of sociology, Davidson College
  • “Time to Come Together: How Convention Spaces Shape Unity and Dissent,” Dan Grano, associate professor of communication studies, UNC Charlotte

Mary Newsom, associate director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and former editorial board member and columnist for The Charlotte Observer, will serve as moderator for the panel discussion.

Community partners include the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, UNC Charlotte Center City, the UNC Charlotte 49er Democracy Experience, and Kids Voting Mecklenburg. The “Exploding Canons” speakers series leverages the partnerships among CTI to offer educators and the public collaborative educational opportunities that highlight university and college faculty, explore diverse topics in an interdisciplinary manner, and encourage community conversation.

This “Exploding Canons” event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so registration at is recommended. CMS teachers and administrators from all grade levels and subject areas are especially encouraged to attend. UNC Charlotte’s Center City Campus is located in downtown Charlotte at 320 E. 9th Street, at the corner of Ninth and Brevard Streets.

Download flyer