press release by HC121104031234


									                                    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Please do not publish phone number

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: 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, 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

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, The USA TODAY Collegiate
Readership Program brings USA TODAY to campuses across the nation and is enhanced by the
Collegiate Academic Web site,

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