Press Release For Immediate Release For Further Information: Gloria Kirshner, President National Student/Parent Mock Election Phone: (520) 742-9943 Please do not publish phone number USA TODAY Contact Info. Debby Dodge USA TODAY Charitable Foundation Phone: (703-854-5917) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ National Student/Parent Mock Election American Happenings USA TODAY Charitable Foundation Collaborate to promote Teacher and Student Participation in Mock Election Day Tucson, AZ – National Student/Parent Mock Election, American Happenings and USA TODAY will collaboratively promote teacher and student participation in the Mock Election set for October 28, 2004. By utilizing resources through Democracy TODAY! On USA TODAY Education website: www.education.usatoday.com students and teachers will become better- informed citizens to assist in their voting selection. The National Student/Parent Mock Election is, by any measure, the nation’s largest and most successful voter education project. Over 10 million students and parents cast their votes in the last two presidential year Mock Elections in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and 14 countries/territories around the world where Americans are based. Over 40 million people have participated since the project began 24 years ago. Sixty-seven percent of U.S. states now officially partner with the National Student/Parent Mock Election (2003 New Millennium Report, National Association of Secretaries of State). American Happenings mission includes leaving a legacy of the values of democracy to future generations. From its sponsorship of the National Student/Parent Mock Election to “The Great American Inaugural Ball”, American Happenings has been at the forefront of educational efforts designed to “protect and preserve” the world’s longest lasting democracy. John Herklotz, Chairman of American Happenings, is quoted: “Voting requires basic levels of reading comprehension, yet millions of Americans are unable to read an election leaflet or newspaper stories about political issues. The involvement of USA TODAY in the National Student/Parent Mock Election will lead to significant increases in student achievement. Current research shows that using newspapers in the classroom lead to more successful readers, especially in schools with large minority populations. USA TODAY is pioneering new paths in the education of future voters. The founding fathers saw an educated citizenry as the best defense against tyranny.” The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation has established educational programs to provide timely, relevant information to integrate into today's curriculum. Instructional resources for these programs are designed to reach out to young people and to connect them to the real world by heightening their awareness of the world in which they live. These resources enable today’s youth to develop critical thinking and analytical skills, to make informed decisions, and to practice the skills needed to meet state standards and to pass required assessment tests. Students are encouraged to learn, apply and integrate concepts from these programs to their daily lives. USA TODAY’s Education Program will help spread the word about the National Student/Parent Mock Election to the nation’s schools. Through Democracy TODAY!, an innovative civic engagement initiative designed to motivate students to become more knowledgeable about key election issues and their potential impact, students will have a better understanding of the democratic process and be inspired to become active citizens and voters. This joint collaborative project will strive to unite purposes in classrooms across the country by: Providing an intellectual climate for the exchange of ideas and ideals through the exploration of relevant, timely, real-world information. Encouraging critical thinking and problem solving for students, resulting in the stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence. Utilizing the strengths of each organization to encourage a new generation of voters and leaders. Democracy TODAY! will present newly developed instructional resources online to educators everywhere. In addition, 200 schools across the country will participate in specifically developed instructional resources by using USA TODAY in their classroom to follow the issues of the campaign. Educators and parents can enroll at www.nationalmockelection.com, by mail to the National Student/Parent Mock Election, P.O. Box 36653, Tucson AZ 85704, or by fax to 520-742-3553. Hundreds of pages of free curriculum materials, K-12, are also on the site. All are developed around the National Standards for Civics and Government. Students can be engaged in debates, issues forums, mock press conference, candidate forums, cable call-in programs and get out the vote campaigns. There are no mandates. Educators are free to use the materials that best suit the needs of their classes. New Jersey’s Division of Elections, the Office of the Attorney General, will collect the votes from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and the American schools all around the world on October 28, Mock Election day. New Jersey was a winner of the 2002 National Association of State Boards of Education Award for “Outstanding Contribution to Voter Education” for its statewide Mock Election project. Former Presidents, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter are Honorary Co-chairs of the National Student/Parent Mock Election, which is funded by the US Congress under the Help America Vote Act, and American Happenings. The National Association of Secretaries of State has officially endorsed the project. The National Student/Parent Mock Election is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with which 60 national educational, civic and religious organizations cooperate, ranging from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Association of State Boards of Education to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters. The International Foundation for Election Systems wrote, “…the National Student/Parent Mock Election played an important role in fostering greater participation across the country. Their approaches might usefully be studied and their techniques duplicated in other nations around the world.” Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has said the National Student/Parent Mock Election is “…in a unique position to help foster creative and effective government around the world.” The USA TODAY Charitable Foundation proudly supports and builds partnerships that enhance innovative, instructional programs and community outreach by providing the resources to promote opportunities and inspire all. About USA TODAY Education USA TODAY Education offers teachers, parents and students, from elementary school to college, the resources to make USA TODAY a daily, real-world learning tool. USA TODAY’s K-12 Education Program provides a classroom set of USA TODAY; Experience USA TODAY, a signature 4-page daily lesson plan; and the broad resources of our online education site, www.education.usatoday.com. The USA TODAY Collegiate Readership Program brings USA TODAY to campuses across the nation and is enhanced by the Collegiate Academic Web site, www.usatodaycollege.com.
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