As we approach the 2020 Presidential Primary Election next March, it is important to ensure that our students are learning to become active and engaged participants in our democracy. It is never too early to motivate our students to get involved.
“There’s a growing body of evidence that shows civic engagement is not just good for the people we are helping, but also for our own well-being,” comment Dr. Judy D. White, Riverside County Superintendent of Schools. “This research shows that one way to ensure we are able to confront challenges or adversity in our future is by getting involved in your community, volunteering, or helping a neighbor.”
For the month of September, Riverside County Office of Education is encouraging students to vote and volunteer! Civic engagement generates the networks and norms of reciprocity and trust that are essential to effective and efficient societies. This social capital bonds groups of homogeneous and heterogeneous people together.
High School Voter Education Weeks – September 16 – 27, 2019
The California Education Code designates the last two weeks of September as High School Voter Education Weeks and authorizes schools to designate students as voter outreach coordinators to help pre-register sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds. Over 400,000 California students have pre-registered since the program launched in September 2016. Once pre-registered, they will automatically become active voters on their eighteenth birthday. To learn more about voter pre-registration in California, please visit the Secretary of State’s High School and Youth Programs website.
Constitution and Citizenship Day – September 17, 2019
On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution. The Constitution, along with the Bill of Rights and other amendments, define our government and guarantee our rights. Each year, on September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. During this time, Americans reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen. In observance of Constitution and Citizenship Day, we encourage Riverside County students to volunteer in their communities. For a list of potential volunteer opportunities, please visit the County of Riverside Human Resources Volunteer website.
By working together, we can educate and encourage our young citizens to vote and volunteer. Registered voters are more likely to engage in civic and political activities than those who are not registered. They are also more likely to talk to elected officials and be an advocate for themselves and their families. Voters are more likely to be active and engaged citizens who connect with their neighbors and participate in community activities.