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Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving? In addition to giving thanks, use this holiday as an opportunity for civic learning.
  • Thanksgiving commemorates a feast shared by colonists and Native Americans in Plymouth in 1621. This started a tradition of harvest celebrations that lasted for 2 centuries.
  • In 1777, the Continental Congress declared the First National Proclamation of Thanksgiving. George Washington, then a war leader (later to be president) declared Thanksgiving to be a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British.
  • In 1863 - in the middle of the Civil War - President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday.
  • In December 1941, President Roosevelt set a fixed date for Thanksgiving - the 4th Thursday in November.

Some questions to think about and discuss:
  • Why did Thanksgiving start?
  • Can you think of other situations where two different groups are brought together to share a meal?
  • Are there similarities between the way Thanksgiving was organized by local leaders and how decisions and policies are made by local leaders in our community?
  • What are the traditional Thanksgiving foods? Why do we eat different things for Thanksgiving than on another holiday, such as the Fourth of July?
  • Why was Thanksgiving made official in 1777? Why did George Washington say it was a victory celebration?
  • Why did President Lincoln declare Thanksgiving as a national holiday? Is it significant that he did it in 1863?
  • Why did President Roosevelt set the annual date for Thanksgiving? Why was this done in December 1941?
  • If you were President, would you declare a national holiday? What would it be and why? Write your proclamation, read it out loud and discuss with your family or classroom.
  • Do other countries celebrate Thanksgiving? What is similar or different? 
  • Does Thanksgiving impact the economy? How? Which industries?
  • Have you attended a Thanksgiving parade or watched one on TV? What are the different kinds of government involved in the parade including planning the parade route and keeping the streets safe?

History of Thanksgiving from

Learn more about Thanksgiving:
Resources from
Learn about the Mayflower

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thank you teachers, students and community volunteers!

Teachers, parents, students and community volunteers play a big role in using the election to educate children and youth about government, civic participation and decision-making - thank you for helping to make the Kids Voting election program possible each year.

Thousands of students experienced elections at over 60 schools and 80 polling places. 500+ teens enjoyed service-learning and gave every student the opportunity to vote!

Student captains and volunteers representing schools including:
  • Marie G Davis
  • West Mecklenburg
  • Harding
  • Cato Middle College
  • Myers Park
  • East Mecklenburg
  • Rocky River
  • Butler
  • Independence
  • Providence
  • Vance
  • Ardrey Kell
  • North Mecklenburg
  • South Mecklenburg
  • Mallard Creek
  • Olympic
  • Performance Learning Center
  • Hough
  • JM Alexander
  • Northeast Middle
  • Randolph
  • KIPP Charlotte
  • Providence Day
  • Covenant Day
  • Country Day

(Site and volunteer leader or sponsoring group)
  • Beatties Ford Library - Delta Debutantes 2012
  • Independence Regional - Desiree Kindley and friends
  • Matthews Library - Butler Key Club
  • Morrison Regional - Maya Fleming and friends
  • Mt Island Library - Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae
  • North County Regional - Sarah Kerman and friends
  • South County Regional - Jack and Jill of South Charlotte
  • Steele Creek Library - Karishma Desai and friends
  • University City Regional - Anh Doan and friends 
  • West Boulevard Library - Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae

(Site and volunteer leader or sponsoring group) 

  • North County Regional Library - Sarah Kerman and friends
  • Bradley Middle School - Danielle Miller and friends
  • JM Alexander Middle - Morgan Honeycutt/JM Alexander
  • Hornets Nest Elementary - Victoria Pittman and friends
  • Huntersville Elementary - Jack Manchester and friends

  • Cole Memorial Methodist - Vance JROTC
  • Greenville AME  - Vance JROTC
  • Hickory Grove North - Ellington Green and friends
  • Highland Renaissance - Performance Learning Center
  • Joseph W Grier Academy  - Vance JROTC
  • Mallard Creek Rec Center - Javon Bennett and friends
  • Nathaniel Alexander  - Vance JROTC
  • Northridge Middle - Tiffany Carter and friends
  • Reedy Creek Elementary - Demetris Johnson and friends
  • Turning Point Academy - Vance JROTC
  • University City Library - Anh Doan and friends
  • University City Methodist - Vance JROTC

  • Allenbrook Elementary - Alicia Morrison and friends
  • Coulwood Middle - Karen Summers and friends
  • Marie G Davis - Marie G Davis Students/Veronica Peeler
  • McCrory YMCA - Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae
  • Oaklawn Elementary - Kimberly Wiley and friends
  • St Marks United Methodist - Delta Sigma Theta Alumnae
  • Southview Rec Center - Cedric Cook, Boys and Girls Club
  • Tuckaseegee Elementary - Angel Lennon and friends/West Mecklenburg HS
  • Wallace Pruitt Rec Center - Wallace Pruitt Rec Center/Blanche Penn
  • West Charlotte Rec Center - Delta Sigma Theta Debutantes 

  • Covenant Presbyterian - Blaine Sanders and friends
  • St Johns Baptist - Elizabeth Wright and friends
  • First Ward Elementary - National Assn of University Women, Charlotte branch
  • Highland Renaissance - Performance Learning Center

  • Christ Episcopal Church - Providence Day
  • Church at Charlotte - Providence Day
  • Forest Hills Church- Shauna Rust and friends
  • Myers Park High School - Polumi Banerjee and friends
  • Providence United Methodist - Providence Day
  • Randolph Middle - Randolph Middle School/Karishma Desai
  • Scottish Rites Masonic - Mereidth Ellis and friends
  • St Johns Episcopal - Charlotte Country Day Aquilifer
  • St Paul United Methodist - Kimberly Little and friends
  • Westminster Presbyterian - Betsy Williamson and friends

  • Aldersgate United Methodist - Sonny Jackson/Aldersgate Cub Scouts
  • Belle Johnston Center - Dylan Stewart and friends
  • Candlewyck Baptist- Emily DeZubay and friends
  • Community House Middle- Ardrey Kell HS/Harsha Pinnamanju
  • Harrison United Methodist - Aaron Whetstone and friends
  • Lansdowne Elementary - Providence Day School
  • Living Savior Lutheran - Boy Scout Troop 165
  • McKee Rd Elementary - McKee Rd PTA
  • Olympic High School - Renaissance National Honor Society/Ashley Porven
  • Providence Presbyterian - Luke Miller and friends
  • Sardis Presbyterian - Providence Day School
  • South Mecklenburg HS - South Meck Key Club
  • St Matthew Catholic - Ardrey Kell HS
  • St Stephen Methodist - Providence Day School
  • Waddell Language Academy - Bobbi Nguyen and friends
  • William Davie Park - Hank Greenberg AZA/Daniel Willenzik 

(School and teacher leader serving as Kids Voting School Representative)

  • Albemarle Road – Marie Pacini
  • Ardrey Kell -Robin Dorfer
  • Bain – Beth Kerr
  • Barringer - April Mondanaro
  • Berewick – Erin Pugh
  • Bruns Avenue - Sonja Brown
  • Carmel - Patty Nelson
  • Chantilly – Steve Knickerbocker
  • Cornelius – Bethany Davis
  • Cotswold – Julie Jones
  • Crestdale –Brenda Thompson
  • Croft Community - Thai Williams
  • Crown Point -Lynn Miller
  • David Cox Rd - Patti Eagleburger
  • Davidson- Troy Gray
  • Dilworth - Stephanie Beran
  • Elizabeth Lane – Emma Juncadella
  • Elon Park –Lydia Upchurch
  • Greenway Park - Lisa Milavec
  • Hawk Ridge –Luci Unferth
  • Highland Creek- Erin Bullis
  • Hopewell- David Jensen
  • Huntersville- Lin McAuley and Stephanie Broyles
  • Huntingtowne Farms - Tracy Kennedy
  • Irwin Academic Center – Susan Selby and Dionne Bailey
  • JM Alexander - Morgan Honeycutt
  • JV Washam- Debbie Brown and Linda Linfoot
  • Kennedy - Matthew Moran
  • KIPP Charlotte – Rashid Williams
  • Lansdowne - Ronald Stephany
  • Lebanon Road- Susan Blomberg
  • Marie G Davis -Roderic Brace, Donna Alexander and Veronica Peeler
  • Martin Luther King -Janice Mundy
  • McAlpine - Amanda Pruitt
  • McKee Road - Debbie Mathews
  • Merry Oaks - Andrea Flood
  • Metro School – Shannon Martin
  • Myers Park Traditional – Bonnie Wilkie and Mary Ashley Davino
  • Nathaniel Alexander - Kristin Retort
  • Nations Ford - Carole Kiser and Jennifer Foulke
  • Northeast - Keith Marwitz
  • Northridge - Bridgett Wiley
  • Performance Learning Center - Andrena Goodwin
  • Phillip O'Berry – Sarah Hatter
  • Pinewood - Kristyn Walgren
  • Polo Ridge - Jillian Richard
  • Providence Day – Ted Dickson
  • Providence Spring - Jan Siciliano
  • Quail Hollow - Jeffrey Lee
  • Randolph - Michael White
  • Ridge Road - LaToya Howell and John Nabors
  • River Gate - Tia Taylor
  • Sedgefield - Siobhan Havlik
  • Selwyn - Katie Patton
  • Shamrock Gardens - Robin Tench
  • Socrates Academy – Shea Short
  • Sterling - Jean Konzelmann
  • Stoney Creek - Andrea Grisby
  • Torrence Creek - Christine Peachey
  • Tuckaseegee - Marcy Myers
  • University Park Creative Arts -Yolanda Labran-Gooden and Lynn Hudson
  • Vance – Duane Orr
  • Westerly Hills - Beverly Stewart
  • Whitewater Academy – Carolyn Singleton
Note: Many other schools were involved in the civic learning opportunity through additional educational activities. Let us know how you were involved!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Election results


This election, over 32,000 Mecklenburg County students learned about government and civic participation by participating in a community-wide mock voting event hosted by Kids Voting Mecklenburg.

This participation rate is higher than the adult voter turnout %. Way to go, students!

K-12 students experienced elections through learning about and voting on real candidates and issues – this year, offices included mayor and school board - and taking part in community service-learning. While the results aren’t official, they are counted and reported.

Charlotte    Anthony Foxx 63%   Scott Stone 37%

Cornelius    Jeff Tarte 100%

Davidson    Vince Winegarden 8%    John Woods 92%

Huntersville   Danae Caulfield 32%      Jill Swain 68%

Matthews     Jim Taylor 100%

Mint Hill      Ted Biggers 51%    Jean Bonner 49%

Pineville      George Fowler 100%

School Board
Larry Bumgarner - 6%
Elyse Dashew - 13%
Ericka Ellis-Stewart - 14%
Keith Hurley - 5%
Mary McCray - 9.5%
DeShauna McLamb - 2%
Tim Morgan - 9.8%
Ken Nelson - 6%
Hans Plotseneder - 4%
Aaron Pomis - 8.9%
Darrin Rankin - 9.3%
Lloyd Scher - 4%
Jeff Wise - 8.8%

Charlotte City Council At-Large
Patrick Cannon - 15%
Claire Fallon - 12.7%
David Howard  - 14%
Beth Pickering - 12.6%
Christopher Hailey  - 9%
Mohamed Moustafa - 8%
Edwin Peacock - 13%
Curtis Watkins - 7.2%
Alexander Vuchnich - 7.6%

Charlotte City Council - Districts
District 1 - Patsy Kinsey 57%   David Michael Rice 43%
District 2 - James Mitchell 100%
District 3 - LaWana Mayfield 66%   Ed Toney 34%
District 4 - Michael Barnes 60%      Larry Shanon 40%
District 5 - John Autry 58%   Dennis Peterson 42%
District 6 - Andy Dulin 100%
District 7 - Warren Cooksey 100%

Cornelius Town Board of Commissioners
John Bradford III - 13%
Dave Gilroy - 21%

Jeff Hare - 18%
Lynette Rinker -8%
Thurman Ross -21%
Chuck Travis - 18%

Davidson Town Board of Commissioners
Kristen Coupal - 11%
Jim Fuller  - 16%
Rodney Graham - 16%
Brian Jenest - 13.2%
Mickey Pettus - 13%
Laurie Venzon - 14%
Connie Wessner - 15%

Huntersville Town Board of Commissioners
Melinda Bales  - 9.1%    
Adam Boatsman   - 8.1%
Charles Guignard  - 10%
Charles Jeter - 9.3%
Ron Julian  - 8.5%          
Sarah McAulay - 10.3%
Demspey Miller - 8.1%
Jeff Neely - 8.2%
Danny Phillips - 9.1%
Adam Planty - 8.1%
Brian Sisson - 8.75%

Matthews Town Board of Commissioners
Paul Bailey - 14.6%                 
Suzanne Gulley - 14.8%         
Jeff Miller - 14.5%                  
Nancy LaFond Moore - 14.8%
Joe Pata - 12.3%
Kress Query - 14.8%
John Urban  14.1%

Mint Hill Town Board of Commissioners
Lloyd D. Austin - 15.4%
Carl (Mickey) Ellington - 15.7%
Christopher McAvoy - 13.6%
Brenda McRae - 15.1%
Eric S. Random -13.9% - tie
Tina Ross  - 13.9% - tie
Derrick Snyder - 12.3%

Pineville Town Board 
Al Baskins - 10.8%
Libby Boyd Boatwright - 10.8%
Melissa Rogers Davis - 14.8%
Jim Eschert - 11.7%
Deborah Fowler - 12.9%
Les Gladden - 14.2%
David Macala - 11.4%
David Phillips - 13.5%

The program links to classroom education 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

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.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Youth Civics and Voice

Mock trial at courthouse
City council meeting
Discussing policies and issues

All high school students are invited to participate in upcoming programs Youth Civics and Youth Voice. These programs help teens learn about government, leadership and civic participation.

Youth Civics

Taking Civics? Interested in politics, law or service? Want to know how to make a difference on decisions that impact you?

Kids Voting Mecklenburg's exciting program, YouthCivics, will have its fall session November 15-December 13. You'll attend real government meetings, see the courthouse and meet a judge, find out who the leaders are, where government gets (and spends) its money, explore careers and more.

YouthCivics is ideal for students in Civics & Economics class and others with an interest in government, politics, law and service. The course takes place one evening a week in November and December. Sessions will be held at government buildings in downtown Charlotte. Community service hours are available for completing the course, participating in discussions about community issues, and providing important feedback.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited - sign up now! There is a one time $25 fee, which includes dinner, handouts and other materials. Scholarships are available. Schedule, session location and directions and other information will be provided after you register.

To register and ask questions, contact or 704-343-6999. To register, send your name, school, phone number and email address.Put Youth Civics in the subject line or note it somewhere else in the email. (We are also registering students for other programs at the same time.)


Youth Voice - Leadership Alliance

High school students meet twice a month to discuss school and community issues, policies and decisions with public officials. Upcoming meetings will be November 16 (Jennifer Roberts), November 29 (Hugh Hattabaugh and school board) and December 7 (Anthony Foxx). Meetings are 6-7:30PM at the Government Center, 600 E 4th Street, Charlotte 28202.

Youth Voice-Leadership Alliance, a program of Kids Voting Mecklenburg. Who can participate? Anyone in high school - student leaders, emerging leaders and students who just want to make a difference. The group is building a network of youth civic leaders who advise government policy and decision makers on issues impacting children and youth.

This is a great opportunity for students to learn about government and build leadership skills, while making friends and impacting the community.

All high school students from all schools and youth programs are invited to participate.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kids Voting Day: November 8, 3:30-7:30PM

Voting on Election Day? Take your kids! On Tuesday, November 8 from 3:30-7:30PM. K-12 students can visit these voting locations to cast a student vote for mayor (Charlotte and Mecklenburg towns), school board and city or town council. Look for the Kids Voting volunteers!


North Mecklenburg

  • North County Regional Library
  • Bradley Middle School
  • JM Alexander Middle
  • Hornets Nest Elementary 
  • Huntersville Elementary

North Charlotte, Northeast Charlotte, University City

  • Cole Memorial UMC
  • Greenville AME
  • Hickory Grove North Campus
  • Highland Renaissance
  • Joseph W Grier Academy
  • Mallard Creek Rec Center
  • Nathaniel Alexander
  • Northridge Middle
  • Reedy Creek Elementary
  • Turning Point Academy
  • University City Library 
  • University City Methodist

West Charlotte, Northwest Charlotte

  • Allenbrook Elementary
  • Coulwood Middle
  • Marie G Davis
  • McCrory YMCA
  • Oaklawn Elementary
  • St Marks United Methodist 
  • Southview Rec Center
  • Tuckaseegee Elementary
  • Wallace Pruitt Rec Center 
  • West Charlotte Rec Center

Central Charlotte

  • Covenant Presbyterian
  • St Johns Baptist
  • First Ward Elementary 
  • Highland Renaissance

South Charlotte, Southpark, Myers Park

  • Christ Episcopal Church
  • Church at Charlotte
  • Forest Hills Church
  • Myers Park High School
  • Providence United Methodist
  • Randolph Middle
  • Scottish Rites Masonic
  • St Johns Episcopal
  • St Paul United Methodist 
  • Westminster Presbyterian

South Charlotte, Ballantyne, Southwest Charlotte, South Mecklenburg, Pineville

  • Aldersgate United Methodist
  • Belle Johnston Center
  • Candlewyck Baptist
  • Community House Middle
  • Harrison United Methodist
  • Lansdowne Elementary
  • Living Savior Lutheran
  • McKee Rd Elementary
  • Olympic High School
  • Providence Presbyterian
  • Sardis Presbyterian
  • South Mecklenburg HS
  • St Matthew Catholic
  • St Stephen Methodist
  • Waddell Language Academy 
  • William Davie Park

East Charlotte, East Mecklenburg, Matthews, Mint Hill

  • Albemarle Rd Rec Center
  • Amity Presbyterian
  • Calvary Church of Nazarene
  • Christ Covenant
  • Cornerstone Baptist
  • Lebanon Rd Elementary
  • Matthews Community Center
  • McClintock Middle
  • Mint Hill Town Hall
  • Northeast Middle
  • Philadelphia Presbyterian
  • Robinson Presbyterian 
  • WTVI/Commonwealth

Students may also vote online here anytime through 7:30PM on November 8.

See what's on the Kids Voting ballot
Learn more about Election 2011 learning opportunities

Election Sites - find a site near you

View Kids Voting Election 2011 - Community Sites in a full screen map

Download and print list of voting sites

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kids Voting Day: Saturday, November 5

Voting early? Take your kids on Saturday, November 5 from 10:00AM until 1:00PM. K-12 students can visit these early voting locations to cast a student vote for mayor (Charlotte and Mecklenburg towns), school board and city or town council. Look for the Kids Voting volunteers!
  • Beatties Ford
  • Independence
  • Matthews
  • Morrison
  • Mountain Island
  • North County
  • South County
  • Steele Creek
  • University City
  • West Boulevard

Additional sites will be open on Tuesday, November 8 3:30-7:30PM. We'll post a final list of those sites soon.

See what's on the Kids Voting ballot
Learn more about Election 2011 learning opportunities

View Kids Voting Election 2011 - Community Sites in a full screen map