Just like the rest of our country, our 3rd-5th grade youth were invested in this year’s election. During election week, youth learned about congress, the history of voting rights, the election process, and the importance of voting. They even had a chance to cast a vote for president, U.S. senator, and U.S. representative during a mock election!

As we waited for final results in the presidential race, we leaned into the curiosity and discussed the Electoral College, when the new president takes office, and how winners are chosen. We even discussed who can be president, how long a president can be in office, and when they could run for president (watch for 2048!). We thought critically about why things are the way they are and what would change if we were in charge. It is always a positive experience to have staff and youth learn together while engaged in current events.

Banyan youth were excited to hear whether their candidate had won – both in our mock elections and in the real election. Spoiler alert – they re-elected Tina Smith and Ilhan Omar and elected Joe Biden as president. We then discussed how to manage post-election-result feelings – it can be hard when a candidate you support doesn’t win! 

Young adults in the U.S. have comparatively low voting rates. It has been shown that youth who are civically engaged early tend to be civically engaged as young adults. Teaching youth about the voting process and democracy is critical to developing engaged citizens, and these youth are ready to raise their hands for what they believe. #Vote #2048