Take your child or children to the polls before or on November 4th.
Let this be their foundation for understanding how their voice could be heard
by who they elect in office not just by marching to voice their concerns.
Growing up I never understood the value of voting and politics. It was never discussed in a single family home. However, as an adult, I fully understand the role politics have in a democratic society. This realization became full blown when the African American population came together, young and old; even those who never voted before assisted in electing the first African American President to the White House. As I read articles, watched the news, and witnessed the lack of corporation among the political parties, is when I concluded that the role of the House of Representatives and the Senate are more important. Although the President’s role is important; to get things moving and approved for the betterment of the citizens, having the right people in Congress is critical. It is important that we do not let the current election for the House of Representatives and the Senate slip us by. We must use that same type of tenaciousness and unity in the Presidential election to elect the right officials to serve in Congress. We must begin to listen carefully to these candidates and hold them accountable. We must come together in unity, clearly stating, that we will only elect those officials who care about the wellbeing of all its citizens and that all children are precious and that their life is priceless.
The true meaning of Democracy is in the hands of the people when they come together, electing those officials who will listen and find real solutions in solving the problems of this country with an open-mind and loving heart. This blog post is dedicated to teaching children the REAL power of the vote, which involves electing the right officials into Congress, along with electing the right President to serve this country.
There are several resources to introduce youth to the legislative branch of the United States Government. I have listed a few to start your journey. I welcome your feedback and comments.
Helpful Facts: Why are there 3 branches of government? The Founding Fathers, the people who wrote the US Constitution, did not want any one person or group to have too much power. So, they divided the government into 3 branches. Each one has a different role, responsibility and power.
- The Executive branch includes the President and the Vice President, plus the leaders who head different parts of government and who help the President make decisions (The Cabinet). The President approves laws, and ensures the country follows them.
- The Judicial branch includes the court system, with the Supreme Court having the highest (most) power. The courts decide how laws are used and what they mean.
- The Legislative branch includes Congress, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. In this branch, leaders create laws.
Online Resources to Explore:
http://kids.clerk.house.gov/: The Kids in the House website is a public service provided by the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Their mission is to provide educational and entertaining information about the legislative branch of the United States Government to students of all ages. Topics covered include the role of the U.S. House of Representatives, the legislative process, and House history.
http://history.house.gov/Education/: Discover ways to bring history to life with featured materials, lesson plans, and resources which highlight the fascinating people and customs of the U.S. House of Representatives.
http://www.civiced.org/: The Center for Civic Education has its roots in the interdisciplinary Committee on Civic Education, which formed in 1965 at the University of California, Los Angeles, to develop more effective curricular programs in elementary and secondary civic education. The Center offers the most effective programs in the world in civic education for democracy.
http://history.house.gov/Education/Lesson-Plans/Lesson-Plans-BAIC/: Materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in the Black Americans in Congress publication in their classrooms. It includes lesson plans on the African-American pioneers who served on Capitol Hill from 1870 to 2007 based on the contextual essays from the Black Americans in Congress book, as well as activities on photographs, objects, and quotations.
https://www.congress.gov/: The official website for U.S. federal legislative information. The site provides access to accurate, timely, and complete legislative information for Members of Congress, legislative agencies, and the public. It is presented by the Library of Congress (LOC) using data from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office, and the LOC’s Congressional Research Service.
http://docsteach.org/: Resources for Teachers that bring history to life for students using primary resources and ready to use tools for teaching in the classroom. You can also create your own interactive activities. Docs Teach is a part of the National Archives. Visit the website at http://www.archives.gov/education/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/course/united-states-constitution/id559398926: An iTunes course for learning United States Constitution accompanying with a Multi-Touch book for iPad – Exploring the United States Constitution – as well as blog posts, online articles, videos, documents, and activities in the DocsTeach App for iPad.