Authored by Jason Habig, Eighth Grade History Teacher
Every member of the Hathaway Brown Middle School History Department sees building skills as the primary purpose of each interaction with our students. On most days, the skills we focus on include note-taking strategies, analyzing non-fiction texts, and looking at events from multiple points of view.
Every two years, however, the department adds special activities to help our students build their civic skills during presidential and midterm elections. Last week, the HB Middle School girls had the opportunity to “register to vote” using the same Ohio standards and procedures an 18-year-old-first-time voter would. Just under half of the Middle School chose to participate, taking some time away from recess to fill out the form and learn about the importance of registering before elections.
Our department then divided the girls into precincts by congressional district in preparation for Tuesday’s election. Overall, the school experienced more than 80 percent voter turnout, and the girls were able to research and vote for the major party candidates for Ohio Governor, Senate, and their House of Representative’s district.
This mock election was also a culmination of the current events research that HB Middle School girls do weekly as part of the curriculum in their history classes. There is voluminous research to support the idea that students who participate in mock elections not only learn more about the American political process but also are more likely to be active voters in adulthood. So this week’s simple act of registering and voting was just another way that HB prepares our students “not just for school, but for life.”