July 1, 2016

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: National Student Mock Election Opportunities

I am pleased to announce two opportunities for students to participate in the state and national elections in November.  The Virginia Board of Education supports participation in these programs and is dedicated to increasing civic engagement across the Commonwealth.  Research shows that quality civics education programs are essential to creating lifelong citizenship.  The Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) and the National Student Parent Mock Election non-partisan voter education projects, provide opportunities for students and parents to participate in the political process by simulating an election in their school.  

All public, private, and home schools grades k-12 are invited to participate. Each program provides parents and teachers an opportunity to use simulations and hands-on projects that connect students with the political process.  Interested parents and teachers can sign up free of charge for YLI at http://www.youthleadership.net/central/signup  and National Student Parent Mock Election at http://nationalmockelection.org

For further information, or if you have any questions about YLI, resources, or need help with a YLI program, please contact Meg Heubeck at (434) 982-5726, by e-mail at mfheubeck@virginia.edu, e-mail YLI at ylihelp@virginia.edu, or call (866) 514-8389.  For additional questions about National Student Parent Mock Election, please contact Michael Kirby, Vice Chairman by e-mail at kirbyscorpio@cox.net.  For additional questions contact Christonya Brown at Christonya.Brown@doe.virginia.gov, history and social science coordinator, at (804) 225-2893.