According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. ranks 31st out of 35 developed countries on voter turnout. Among those Americans staying home during elections are young people, a group that has had declining participation in elections for the past 30 years. Many young people don’t vote because they never learned how. But a free class aims to change that by teaching young people why they should vote and how they can register and cast ballots.
For a long time, Americans learned about citizenship in their homes, communities and also in public schools. But in recent decades, civics education has been cut in public school curricula across the country. Lack of education translates into a lack of political engagement.
“A healthy democracy needs well-informed, active citizens. But these citizens don’t just magically appear. People learn citizenship. They learn it, for example, as children when they go the polling place to watch their parents vote. They learn it advocating for an issue they care about with their neighbors. They learn it by doing it.” — Democracy Class founders Carolyn DeWitt and Maureen Costello
“Democracy Class” is a free, nonpartisan curriculum on the history and importance of voting provided by Rock the Vote, Teaching Tolerance and American Eagle Outfitters. The class teaches public school kids about democratic citizenship and the best way to influence their elected representatives.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Bring a Democracy Class to your area by sharing the Democracy Class curriculum with a teacher, principal, superintendent or School Community Council near you!
- Volunteer to teach a Democracy Class! Principals, teachers, administrators and other community leaders and members may sign up to teach a Democracy class here.