First Vote NC, an initiative of EducationNC, received a 2018 nomination for an American Civic Collaboration Award, or Civvy. The award honors “outstanding efforts of civic collaboration making impacts in National, Local and Youth communities.”
Recognition is given to individuals and organizations who go beyond partisanship and idealogical divides to find common ground to improve the nation.
“Without the innovative and dedicated North Carolina teachers who implemented the First Vote initiative in their schools, this nomination would not have happened,” said First Vote NC founder Hunter Buxton. “Everyone involved with First Vote NC is grateful for the teachers willing to go the extra mile to provide their students with this meaningful and impactful experience.”
First Vote NC provides high school teachers with a free, authentic election simulation experience for their students. More than 39,000 students statewide voted in the 2016 general and 2017 local election simulations.
First Vote teaches high school students across North Carolina the mechanics of voting by giving them the opportunity to participate in an online, simulated election, authentic down to the customized ballot based on the address of the student’s school and the “I VOTED” sticker. First Vote’s simulations of local, state, and national elections enable students to learn about the mechanics of how, when, and where to vote; to discuss the election; and to actually simulate the act of voting.
A North Carolina specific curriculum that aligns with NC standards compliments the online voter platform. The lesson plans address issues such as the role of media in elections, the role of money in elections, how to utilize the results, and why every vote counts.
This year, First Vote will offer participating teachers an opportunity to be part of a First Vote teacher online community. The platform, housed at Participate, will allow teachers to communicate ideas, share best practices, and ask questions of their peers across the state.
The awards are sponsored by two national nonpartisan organizations: The Bridge Alliance and Big Tent Nation. Nominees will be considered by a review committee that includes Betsy Wright Hawkings, Governance Program director at the Democracy Fund; Peter Levine, associate dean for research, professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Tufts University; and David Sawyer, partner at Converge for Impact.
Winners will be announced at the National Conference on Citizenship on October 17 – 18th, 2018 .