Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz has announced that an update to the Iowa Secretary of State website will highlight and promote the office’s youth program initiatives.
“It’s an honor to work with young Iowans and see them participate in our youth programs,” Schultz said. “When young people get involved, and get excited about elections and civic participation early on, they tend to continue their participation in the future.”
Schultz works to promote an interest in citizenship and voting among young Iowans through his office’s youth programs, including Rock Iowa, Capitol Youth Day, Capitol Project and Student Mock Election.
Rock Iowa is a partnership between the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and the nationally recognized Rock the Vote program. It’s an interactive educational opportunity for high school seniors to learn about Iowa’s voting process. These seniors are freshman voters and many will be casting a ballot for the first time this year. The goal is to educate the students about Iowa’s election process and the importance of voting and exercising that right.
Capitol Youth Day brings together high school students from across Iowa to celebrate the 26th Amendment, which gives 18-year-olds the right to vote, and the national effort to promote civic education in high schools.
Capitol Project allows students to experience government in action and provides lessons in goal-setting, teamwork and leadership. The students spend four days at the Capitol meeting with statewide elected officials, legislators, pages and lobbyists, and working in small groups with bill drafters and policy analysts as they imitate the legislative process, from brain-storming their legislative ideas to the passage or veto of their bills.
Student Mock Election provides an opportunity to K-12 students across the state to participate in the electoral process, much like adults do, in order to create an interest in the election process, awareness of issues and inspire the desire to vote in the future. It’s important to start voter education early, since young Americans under the age of 18 constitute the largest population group in our nation’s history.
Capitol Youth Day, Capitol Project and Student Mock Election are sponsored by the Iowa Secretary of State’s office and the Iowa Developmental Disabilities Council.
Teachers or students interested in further information regarding these programs should contact Programs director, Jen Fagan, at email@example.com.