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Information for Teachers

The first thing we want you to know is that Teen Voices of Democracy is a not-for-profit educational project sponsored by the Institute of Democratic Education.

Our purpose is to offer young people ... all of them "citizen journalists" ... the opportunity to write and to develop their creative-thinking skills, using the general themes of democracy and the importance of voting.

Bill Moyers, television commentator and former White House press secretary said, "The quality of democracy and the quality of journalism are deeply entwined."

Comprehensive Curriculum Guide

The National Student/Parent Mock Election plans to publish a comprehensive Teacher's Guide to the 2012 Presidential Mock Election.

Included in that curriculum guide will be suggestions on how to prepare students to consider four major national issues expected to be debated during the political campaigns. Student writing about those issues will be posted on the Teen Voices of Democracy website.

The Mock  Election

The link between Teen Voices of Democracy and the National Student/Parent Mock Election is strong.

One of our goals is to encourage young people to explore social and political issues confronting our nation during the months leading up to the 2012 Presidential election.

All of this leads to the 2012 Mock Election and the voting participation of every student.

State Standards

All states include in their mandatory curriculum standards specific educational goals such as the ones Teen Voices embraces. Click here to read excerpts from one state's standards for teaching civics.

Because of the similarity of state-mandated educational mandates and the goals of Teen Voices of Democracy, we hope teachers will feel comfortable encouraging middle school and high school students to participate in this national endeavor.

The websites and organizations listed in the right column of this page offer a wealth of information students can use as they develop essays, articles, videos, "tweets," and other vehicles of expression.

You may find the section on curriculum materials helpful.

There is no charge for students, teachers or schools to participate. Teen Voices of Democracy is funded by grants and is operated by volunteer professional journalists who share our views about democracy and the importance of voter education.


The main way for students to participate is to send us their comments, sometimes as short as one sentence. Students' comments must first be published on their own personal blogs or websites where they have posted articles and essays.

They are encouraged use their mobile phones and computers to send links to articles they have written. There is a "Send Article" button on our Teen Voices iPhone app and on our app for Android smartphones (

Civics Curriculum

Here is a sample state curriculum guide that illustrates how Teen Voices of Democracy can help teachers meet their state standards:

NEW JERSEY STANDARD 6.2 (Civics) - All students will know, understand and appreciate the values and principles of American democracy and the rights, responsibilities, and roles of a citizen in the nation and the world.

Discuss how participation in civic and political life can contribute to the attainment of individual and public good.

Analyze how public opinion is measured and used in public debate (e.g., electronic polling, focus groups, Gallup polls, newspaper and television polls) and how public opinion can be influenced by the government and the media.

Discuss how citizens can participate in the political process at the local, state, or national level (e.g., registering to vote, voting, attending meetings, contacting a representative, demonstrating, petitions, boycotting) and analyze how these forms of political participation influence public policy.

Analyze the impact of communication networks and technology on global issues.

Analyze how the media present cultural stereotypes and images and discuss how this impacts beliefs and behaviors.

Content published on the Teen Voices of Democracy is based on work supported by a grant from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Any opinion, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed on this Web site are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the EAC or the Institute of Democratic Education. Youth correspondents are encouraged to freely express their opinions and must abide by the guidelines posted on this Web site. Professional editors will monitor all submissions to assure they follow recognized journalistic standards and ethical codes before content appears on this Web site.