Part 1 of 5
Students this fall will experience one of our principal freedoms: The right to vote.
Although voter registration is on the rise this year, many people of voting age will not be seeking a ballot box come election day. Some believing their vote doesn't matter, others growing up learning the lackadaisical routine of their parents political beliefs, and many more that just don't care will not participate.
Many children are learning "not" to vote from the adults around them.
But the 70 million students in school throughout the country under the age of 18 can change that, and the future. By casting their first vote in the 2008 presidential election, eighth grade students in school this year will make an impact on the future policies of this country.
And the time to get them interested in casting that all important first vote is now.
Creating social interest at an early age is vitally important for adults to take part in national elections and local government in the future. Being well informed and willing participants ensures that our young people become pro-active citizens. But America, which needs it's citizens now more than ever in the process of choosing leadership, has the lowest voter participation of any democratic society in the free world.
Sept. 11, 2001, unleashed national patriotism and an unexpected fervor among young people regarding politics and social issues affecting everyone throughout the world. Seizing on this excitement and developing it into civic action is crucial in teaching students that their involvement matters.
For a glimpse as to whether our children are paying attention to politics: Just ask any child of school age.
Many have formed opinions about this years presidential election.
That is why many local sixth graders to seniors will experience democracy first hand during upcoming mock elections scheduled later this month at many area schools.
They may be too young to vote, but not too young to care.
Tomorrow: Student Council Elections