Election 2020: How schools empower students to be educated, info - FOX34 Lubbock

Election 2020: How schools empower students to be educated, informed citizens

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

Ahead of Super Tuesday, schools in our area are teaching students the importance of engaging in the democratic process.

"What we try to do is engage the kids, and let them know that their vote is their voice and what I've found teaching this subject is a lot of kids, they just don't understand the process," Paul Enloe, a government teacher at Lubbock-Cooper High School, said.

Enloe's course is rooted in the constitution, he said, and he teaches his senior students how that equates to the primaries. He also gets his students to register to vote.

"We the people...are basically the fourth branch of government. We're the ones with the voice, they work for us," Enloe said.

Over at Lubbock ISD, Candace Hill teaches third grade social studies and science. She said she starts with the basics of how the country was founded, and the roles of the three branches of government.

"With voting, we get into the executive branch, who's appointed, who's not appointed, who's elected, then they kind of understand the whole concept of it," Hill said.

Joni Rodela, the K-12 social studies and world languages coordinator at Lubbock ISD, said it is important for adults to model to students what good citizens look like.

"We want to be able to instill in them and our everyday conversations and in our everyday lives that regardless of whether you're 6 years old, 16 years old or whether you are at voting age of 18 and above that you are still a citizen of the United States, and your actions matter," Rodela said.

Elementary students may not be old enough to vote, but Hill said it is essential for them to learn how their vote will impact them. 

"Just getting them to understand the basics of, 'hey,' this is exactly why this person is running and what for, you need to dig a little deeper into it," Hill said.

As important as a presidential vote is, Enloe said students should also be involved in city, county and school board elections. The teachers also encourage parents to instill in their kids the significance of their votes, and how their decisions could change their lives

"If we can get them to vote one time, hopefully they're plugged in and they'll be lifelong voters, and they'll carry it on and teach their kids the same thing," Enloe said.

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