November 24, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

Newsela and Rock the Vote’s “Students Vote 16” Prompts Engagement

Rock_the_voteLooking for ways to extend student engagement in the 2016 election after Super Tuesday?  A new classroom program from the curated news site Newsela, the organization Rock the Vote, and other partners aims to get kids involved in the election process by holding mock elections, reading relevant news, and gaining a better understanding of civic procedure.

“With ‘Students Vote 2016,’ we are empowering students to participate in democracy and become civic-minded,” said Matthew Gross, founder and CEO of Newsela, in a statement. “Two thirds of students read below grade level. Our program gets students reading, understanding and discussing the election news. It gives students a platform to meaningfully share their voice and, we hope, enfranchises a more active voting population for the future.”

Read the full press release.

Newsela and Rock the Vote Tap Tech to Engage Next Generation of Voters with “Students Vote 2016”  

Classroom access and innovation combine to get grade school students voting in local, mock primary elections – and on key issues for American youth

NEW YORK – February 17, 2016 – Newsela, the company that builds literacy with personalized daily news, today kicks off “Students Vote 2016,” to engage students in the 2016 presidential election. Working with Rock the Vote, National Council for Social Studies, the American Press Institute, the CIRCLE Organization (CIRCLE) and JASH, along with content partners like the White House Historical Association, Associated Press and The Washington Post, Newsela will bring election news and voting opportunities to students for the very first time.

“Students Vote 2016” is a classroom-based program designed to engage K-12 students in the 2016 election with relevant news at five distinct reading levels. It will also provide classroom activities, and a voting experience. This unified learning platform empowers students to grow into informed voters and voice their political opinions throughout the electoral process.

“With ‘Students Vote 2016,’ we are empowering students to participate in democracy and become civic-minded,” said Matthew Gross, founder and CEO of Newsela. “Two thirds of students read below grade level, our program gets students reading, understanding and discussing the election news. It gives students a platform to meaningfully share their voice and, we hope, enfranchises a more active voting population for the future.”

“Partnering with Newsela puts us front and center with the upcoming generation of voters,” said Sarah Audelo, political and field director for Rock the Vote. “To activate such a large group of upcoming voters, we need young people learning about the election and getting excited about their role in the democratic process. We’re excited to work with Newsela to get our free Democracy Class curriculum and Students Vote 2016 content into teachers’ hands, as well as bring compelling information and news about the election for students across the country.”

Through Students Vote 2016, students will develop civic knowledge and literacy by:

  • Reading and getting informed about their government, candidates and the issues with daily election news at their just-right reading level
  • Voting in presidential primaries with other students across their state and across the country
  • Discussing their real-time election results while comparing them to state-wide and primary results from their peers in other states
  • Voting in the largest student-powered general presidential election in the Fall of 2016

All election-related classroom activities and student polling will be available to students, parents and teachers on Newsela.

“Mock elections are a valuable tool for civic engagement, even among our youngest learners. By actively involving students in democratic practice, mock elections empower them to learn about our electoral system in a fun and engaging way,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE, part of Tisch College at Tufts University. “Political learning early in life positively affects future civic engagement. At CIRCLE, we are pleased to support this important initiative that contributes to the health of our shared democracy.”

In addition, Newsela will be partnering with JASH, a comedy collective featuring original content by partners Michael Cera, Sarah Silverman and Reggie Watts, and the American Press Institute to create fun, engaging classroom experiences for students.

Newsela is a literacy company that unlocks the written word for all by delivering content from top news sources adapted to the just-right level. The company recently launched the Newsela iOS app in order to increase accessibility to news for students of all reading levels.

Newsela is currently being used by more than 700,000 teachers in more than 70 percent of all U.S. public schools. Its proponents include educators specializing in all subjects, from science and social studies to art. More than 100 million articles have been read by more than 6.1 million students through Newsela. For more information about Newsela or to download the app, visit Newsela.com.

About Newsela

Newsela unlocks the written word by publishing daily news articles from the best media sources like the Associated Press, Washington Post, Tribune News Service and Scientific American at five reading levels to engage students in grades 2-12 in high-interest topics from immigration and diplomacy to drones and animal extinction. More than 700,000 teachers have assigned more than 100 million Newsela articles to their students. When students read articles and take Common Core-aligned quizzes online, they are developing the critical nonfiction literacy skills that empower them to take part in conversations about complex issues, and prepare them for academic and professional success. To read more, visit http://www.newsela.com and follow @newsela.

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