Rocking the Vote With Newsela

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“A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.” Thomas Jefferson

At Newsela, students teach us lessons in civic action every day. From writing about injustice in Detroit schools, running food drives for the homeless, engaging in passionate debates about gun control to hosting fundraisers for Syrian refugees, students amaze us with their sense of civic and community responsibility – inspired by you, their teachers.

Today, we are excited to continue supporting you in fostering civic literacy in classrooms by launching Students Vote 2016 in partnership with Rock the Vote.

Through Students Vote 2016, students will be able to:

  • Stay informed about the candidates and the issues with daily election-related news at their just-right reading level while also learning about the democratic process.
  • Vote in state primaries with their peers.
  • Discuss real-time election results with their classmates.
  • See and compare demographic analyses of student election results.
  • Vote in the largest student-powered general election ever in the fall of 2016.

We are equally excited about the unique learning experiences our coalition of partners will put together for both teachers and students across the country over the course of the program. Read on to discover the exclusive contributions that partners like Rock the Vote, NCSS, and JASH lend to Students Vote 2016.

“Partnering with Newsela puts us front and center with upcoming generations of voters, to meet them where they are and present content at the level they can really understand. To activate such a large voting population, which is vastly different than any that precedes it, we need young people learning and engaged now. Compelling news about the election at a reading level that they can understand is the perfect way to do just that.” Sarah Audelo, Political and Field Director, Rock the Vote

“Students Vote 2016 joins literacy, civic engagement, critical thinking, as well as speaking and listening skills. When younger students acquire these essential skills, they increase the likelihood of academic success and future civic participation. The National Council for Social Studies is pleased to endorse and support this program that aligns with our mission and prepares students for college, career, and civic life.” Susan Griffin, Executive Director, National Council for Social Studies

“Utilizing the power of the digital community, we hope to shine a light on what could be one of the most important moments in our country and share the Students Vote 2016 program with the rest of the world. We’ve been lucky enough to help build a relationship between the White House and YouTube community such as Grace Helbig, Swoozie, The Fine Bros and Tyler Oakley to discuss a range of topics, and partnering with Newsela gives us an opportunity to take these efforts one step further. We’ll have a hand in entertaining and educating the young minds of America, which is paramount to what we do here at JASH.” Mickey Meyer, Co-Founder,  JASH

“Mock elections are a valuable tool for civic engagement, even among our youngest learners. By actively involving students in democratic practice, mock elections empower them to learn about our electoral system in a fun and engaging way. Research indicates that political learning early in life has a positive effect on future civic engagement. At CIRCLE, we are pleased to support this important initiative that contributes to the health of our shared democracy.” Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE, Tisch College at Tufts University

“More than ever before, young people are encountering a variety of voices, information and opinions online, including about the 2016 election. We look forward to partnering with Newsela to introduce thoughtful questions that all users should ask about the media they encounter. Knowing the right questions to ask is an easier skill to acquire than people think and one they will use the rest of their lives.” Tom Rosenstiel, Executive Director, American Press Institute

We, along with our partners, are proud to be your champions as you educate the next generation of voters. See you at the polls.

Your colleague,

Matthew Gross