When we tell people that we are teaching elementary schoolers about voting, they often ask how the topic can be relevant to students that young.
But the truth is that students anywhere from Kindergarten through 5th Grade are making collective choices all the time, and are keenly attuned to who holds power in their lives, and whether they have a voice. The best evidence that the students we are working with “get it” came from the song that they wrote as part of our first pilot workshop with Making Home Possible, also known as Montgomery Housing Partnership.
After seeing our show, “Vote for Me!”, which includes a mock election, and playing games such as “Voting Basics Bingo,” the students wrote a song called “We Get to Vote” that seemed to say it all. Here is an excerpt:
We vote to get what we want
We vote for freedom
We vote for leaders who listen
We vote for what our hearts believe in
We vote for things to get better
We vote for what we need
We vote because it’s our right
We vote to make this world bright
Thanks to MHP and everyone else who made this first pilot such a success, including our teaching artists, Nick Newlin and LEA. We can’t wait for our next workshop, which will take place at Arcola Elementary School in another MHP collaboration. The final line from the kids’ voting song refrain: “Win or lose, you get to vote!’