Creating Active Citizens Through Education


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Presented at 26th Annual Conference on Legal Education, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL. October 2009.

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Creating Active Citizens Through Education

  1. 1. Creating Active Citizens Through Education: The Foundation of Democracy’s and America’s Future <ul><li>René M. Lafayette </li></ul><ul><li>Northbridge High School </li></ul><ul><li>Whitinsville, Massachusetts </li></ul><ul><li>Presented at </li></ul><ul><li>American Bar Association’s </li></ul><ul><li>26th Conference on Law Related Education </li></ul><ul><li>October 2, 2009, Chicago, Illinois </li></ul>
  2. 2. Creating Active Citizens Through Education <ul><li>The foundation, the future. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Building a Better Tomorrow: Youth, Citizenship, and Civic Engagement
  4. 4. Case Study: Northbridge Election Workers <ul><li>November 4, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Presidential Election </li></ul><ul><li>State Legislative Races </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>In 2006, Massachusetts passed a statute permitting minors, aged 16 and 17, to serve as election officials. </li></ul><ul><li>In 2008, for the first time in Northbridge’s history, students served in this capacity - 14 students, all enrolled in Citizenship In Action were appointed by the Board of Selectmen to serve in this role. </li></ul><ul><li>Voter turnout was high and so were the spirits of the 14 young men and women. They learned the real meaning of being active citizens. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  6. 6. <ul><li>Pre-election day poll worker training session. Veterans and students alike meet and learn from Town Clerk Doreen Cedrone in Northbridge Town Hall. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  7. 7. <ul><li>Election Day, November 4, 2008, Veterans Memorial Field House, Northbridge High School. Student poll worker Kayla Downing directing voters. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  8. 8. <ul><li>Election Day 2008, voters casting ballots (left). Dorreen Cedrone, Northbridge Town Clerk (left) reviewing procedures with student poll worker Destine Clemente (right). </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  9. 9. <ul><li>Northbridge, Massachusetts, population approximately 14,000, saw a strong voter turnout on Election Day, November 4, 2008. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  10. 10. <ul><li>Matthew Perry, President of Northbridge High School Class of 2009 poses with ballot. </li></ul><ul><li>Matt would be casting his first vote in minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>A Citizenship In Action student, he and friends followed the elections results Election Night. </li></ul>Ready to Cast First Ballot.
  11. 11. <ul><li>Voters stood in line waiting to vote (left). Matt Haas (left) and Matt Perry (right) with campaign posters. Both joined with friends on election night to track results. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  12. 12. <ul><li>Prior to voting, precinct moderators answer voter’s questions (left). CIA student Amanda Consigli, NHS’09 (left), reviews voter guide with fellow poll worker. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  13. 13. <ul><li>CIA students greet and direct voters to respective precincts outside field house and Megan McGowan (right) directs voters to carrels to cast ballots. </li></ul>Creating Active Citizens Through Education
  14. 14. Creating Active Citizens Through Education <ul><li>Building on the successful use of students in November 2008’s election, Citizenship In Action students have been appointed to serve again in the May 2009 town election. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Creating Active Citizens Through Education <ul><li>This “experiment” has worked well thanks to open and clear communications between Town officials and my class. </li></ul><ul><li>The role of the media, through their writing about the students service has also been a contributing positive factor. </li></ul>