Kids Voting Minneapolis is a community-based, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to empower students in Minneapolis with the skills and confidence to embrace civic involvement and become active citizens as adults. There are approximately 50,000 K-12 students in Minneapolis. We want all of them to become educated, engaged voters.
Part of a national network of independent local affiliates, Kids Voting Minneapolis combines civic learning in the classroom, family dialogue, and an authentic voting experience to prepare the next generation of citizens.
In the Classroom
Kids Voting Minneapolis provides civics-based, Kindergarten through 12th grade classroom lessons and activities at no cost to all interested schools (public, private, alternative, charter and home schools) within the City of Minneapolis.
Students learn about the right to vote, democracy, civic responsibility, and the importance of participation in the political process. The classroom activities help students develop critical thinking, information gathering and decision-making skills.
At the Polls
In previous years, students have had the opportunity to cast a Kids Voting ballot at Minneapolis precinct polling locations on Election Day. The student ballot contains many of the same candidates and issues as the adult ballot.
This year, students at participating schools will be able to cast their votes for Minneapolis Mayor and Minneapolis City Council at their school.
Since 2004, Minneapolis students have been able to cast a Kids Voting ballot at Minneapolis precinct polling locations staffed by Kids Voting Minneapolis volunteers. Unfortunately, due to limited financial resources we will not be at polling locations this coming Election Day, November 3, 2009.
Community support is critical to our success and we are grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who have made Kids Voting Minneapolis possible in previous years. Our goal is to be back at the polls in 2010 to provide students with an authentic voting experience.
Please show your support for the future of Kids Voting Minneapolis by making a donation.
The need for Kids Voting is evidenced by the growing trend of declining levels of civic engagement and apathetic attitudes towards voting. Today, 50% of young people grow up in non-voting households. Only about half of eligible voters participate in Presidential elections and about one-third participate in local elections. The figures are even lower for minority populations and young adults.
While Minnesota had the nations’ highest voter turnout for the 2004 Presidential election, nearly 200,000 Minnesotans between the ages of 18 and 24 did NOT vote!
Kids Voting was born upon the return of three Arizona businessmen from a 1988 fishing trip to Costa Rica, a country that typically enjoys 90% voter turnout. The men were inspired by the strong local custom of children accompanying their parents to the polls. Motivated to act because of the growing trend of low voter turnout in the United States, they developed a school-based pilot project that has since grown into the national Kids Voting USA organization. It now serves more than four million students in 26 states and Washington D.C.
National research has confirmed the impact of the Kids Voting program on voting patterns and civic participation:
2008 Nearly 7,600 students cast ballots at 131 polling locations in the Presidential Election
2006 4,425 students from more than 130 schools cast ballots at 94 precincts in the 2006 mid-term election
2005 2,504 students voted at their polling place in 2005 city elections
2004 Over 7,600 students cast ballots at 97 polling places in the Presidential Election
Kids Voting USA Honors the Star Tribune and Roberta Worrell
The Star Tribune and Roberta Worrell, director of community affairs, were named recipients of the national 2006 Jim Batten Media Partnership Award by Kids Voting USA. "This award is presented annually to a media professional that not only provides key support to the Kids Voting USA program in its community, but that also models and inspires positive citizen involvement," said Christopher E. Heller, president and CEO, Kids Voting USA. "Roberta Worrell and the Star Tribune are prime examples of this vision in action." Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, honorary co-chair of Kids Voting Minnesota, presented the award to Ms. Worrell. Read the full press release (PDF, 144 kb)
Your tax-deductible contribution will help Kids Voting Minneapolis prepare young people to be educated, engaged voters.
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