What is Promote the Vote?
Promote the Vote is a comprehensive voter education program created to teach the fundamentals of our democracy to K-12 students and to encourage them to practice their civic responsibilities enthusiastically. The multi-disciplinary, hands-on program helps students improve their political decision-making abilities and increase their interest in current political issues. The goal is to empower a new generation of enthusiastic voters.
The program is non-partisan and offers students a look at all sides of the political process. Our curricula, developed in conjunction with the Mississippi Department of Education, offer lessons and activities specifically designed for various age groups and class sizes.
How does it work?
Teachers and school administrators are provided a yearly updated Promote the Vote curriculum which includes project ideas, activities and lesson plans directly tied to the Mississippi Department of Education’s learning objectives for Social Studies. Educators may then choose those components best suited to their classroom needs and student interests.
Students are exposed to a variety of topics through fun, hands-on class activities and multi-disciplinary lesson plans covering subjects such as voting rights, political parties and candidates, responsibilities of citizens and different levels of American government. Opportunities are provided for students to examine national issues and learn how elected officials shape public policy.
Who can participate?
The program is open to all teachers and students in grades K-12. We encourage participation by public, private and parochial schools as well as home school associations.
What is the Mock Election?
After students have the opportunity to become informed on issues and candidate platforms, they can participate in a statewide Mock Election where students will be voting for our next U.S. Senator. In years past, the student vote has closely mirrored the statewide vote and presents an interesting view of the election just before the real polls open. Online voting will not be available this year; however, we will include a printable ballot on our website for use in the classroom as well as a tally sheet to report your results back to our Office.
How do I get started?
After registering online to participate in Promote the Vote, teachers will receive a special code to unlock our online curriculum. The curriculum includes lesson plans specifically tailored to elementary students and middle and high school students. Also included are activities, resource materials and teaching materials to enhance the learning experience.
What else is included?
Promote the Vote also includes a variety of contests to encourage students to show off their creative flair and understanding and interpretation of what they have learned through the Promote the Vote program. Entries are due on December 5th and winners are announced after the first of the year. Winners are invited to a special ceremony at the State Capitol in Jackson and have the opportunity to see their creations on display for public viewing.
In 2016, Promote the Vote is expanding contest opportunities for students in all grade levels with the addition of a new “Persuasion” category. The year’s competitions will focus of the 2016 theme “My Voice, My Vote!” giving students the opportunity to examine the importance of their voting rights and the opportunity they will have once they turn 18 to participate and use their voice in electing those who serve us in this State and in our Nation.
More details are available for all our contests on the Promote the Vote website.
Does it cost anything to participate?
No. Promote the Vote is a free program offered to all schools and teachers in the State of Mississippi by the Secretary of State’s Office. All materials are available for download online and are great for e-classrooms and traditional classrooms alike.
Where can I get more information?
The Secretary of State’s Education and Publications Division is directly responsible for the Promote the Vote program in Mississippi. Staff members are available by phone or email to answer questions or give assistance to teachers and school administrators. Curriculum information is available on the Secretary of State’s website for all registered participants.
For specific questions, you can reach our staff by calling 601-359-6344 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org