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Bring Civics Education to Life With “Voting and Voices”

Your students may not be old enough to vote, but they can use their voices. With the resources in our new Voting and Voices project, you can give them the tools—and the support—to begin identifying as voters and to participate in the democratic process.

It’s a favorite fact among voting activists that young people who vote in the first election for which they are eligible are more likely to vote consistently for the rest of their lives. This sounds great—but making that first eligible vote happen isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

It’s this reality that inspired Voting and Voices, a brand-new partnership between Teaching Tolerance and Rock the Vote. The project is aimed at helping young people develop their identities as voters even before they cast their first ballots by exposing them to the voting process and encouraging them toward civic engagement.

There’s a lot to explore in our resources, but you might want to start with the quiz to see how much you and your students really know about voting and elections in the United States. And get ready to bust some common voting myths with this classroom-friendly poster.

If you’re not feeling quite up to speed on your own voting knowledge, you can dig into the PD page, which includes readings, webinars and other tools to help fill in the blanks.

Ready to start teaching about voting and civic engagement? We’ve got great lessons, videos, student-friendly texts and more in our Classroom Resources collection.

Put your knowledge—and your students’—into action by registering voters in your community. This collection of guides and toolkits takes all the guess work out of hosting your own registration drive.

There’s a lot more to explore, but at the very least, make sure you sign and share our Voting and Voices pledge. Share this pledge to remind students—and yourself—that voting and using our voice is an essential part of living in a democracy.

Teaching Tolerance staff recently met with a group of March for Our Lives activists from Parkland, Florida. They’re on a tour to encourage young people to register, so we posed this question to them: How can we encourage young people to start voting and keep voting?

“Voting is a really weird thing to add into someone’s life for the first time when they turn 18,” one young activist remarked. He went on to comment that voting, while it sounds important, isn’t always that straightforward, especially if you’ve never been educated on exactly how to do it. He and his fellow students agreed they felt that this knowledge gap was a barrier.

With Voting and Voices, we hope to remove that barrier and to make voting feel like an opportunity your students have been preparing for their whole lives.