Imagine involving students kindergarten through 12th grade in an authentic voting experience, mirroring the American democratic process. On Election Day, students would go to the same precinct locations as their parents and vote on the same candidates and issues. Parents of the youngsters would get involved by accompanying their children to the polls, and kids would learn about the democratic process firsthand. This program is truly unique, since kids actually vote right alongside their parents at their own polling stations on ballots appropriate to their grade level.This program is a part of Kids Voting USA, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization which has developed this powerful “civic educational” school curriculum for classroom application. After four successive, successful election years in Parachute’s School District 16, the Kids Voting program has undergone an expansion to include the Roaring Fork Re-1 and Rifle Re-2 School Districts for the upcoming 2004 general election. More than 10,500 area students will be involved. This is where businesses come in. In a start-up program, there are expenses for materials that can be used in subsequent years, such as voting booths, ballot boxes and signage. The printed curriculum materials assigned for use by the teachers are also a one-time expense. Consequently, costs to implement the program the first year are approximately $1.50 per student but significantly less in the years to come.The Kids Voting Director for our region, Richard Doran, is in the process of obtaining commitments from Major Program Sponsors and making presentations to various large organizations. This program has a 501(c)(3) status as a subaffiliate of the parent Colorado organization.If you believe that civic duty should be taught in this dynamic way, participate by making checks payable to Kids Voting Colorado Three Rivers Region and mail to: Kids Voting Colorado, Three Rivers Region, P.O. Box 2009, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602. Federal tax number and nonprofit documentation are available upon request.Any questions, contact Richard Doran 970-285-9525 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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