Government & Voting- What Do You Know?

Summer here in the WXXI education department is a time to prepare for the next year's grant and school based programs as well as to plan for our next season of Homework Hotline.

For any blog readers who are not familiar with Homework Hotline, it is a live education television program, created and produced by WXXI and aired statewide in NY, that helps support students with their school work. While a great portion of the show is devoted to answering and working through students' homework problems live on the air, we also produce short video segments that support NYS learning standards.

These Homework Hotline segments include: New York State of Mine, Going Green, Getting Historical, Zoophily, Healthy You and Book Reviews. Our Getting Historical segments, slated to air next fall during and leading up to election season, will focus on democracy, the voting process and the basic structures of US, NYS and local government.

In researching and preparing the content for these segments, we have immersed ourselves in the technical aspects of voting, law making and government processes. To say the least, it is a very humbling experience to try and explain such a complex process in a manner that students can understand. During this information quest, I kept thinking about 2 questions:

1. How many voters actually know their various governmental representatives and understand the process of democracy in our country?

and

2. If many of our of-age voters don't know these intricacies, how do we expect students to understand our government?

Never fear if you are a little cloudy on the inner workings of our great country! During our research process, we have stumbled upon some wonderful and in-depth websites that are great for kids and adults alike. Here are a few of our favorites that have been extremely fun and easy to use while being informative at the same time:

Ben's Guide to U.S. Government

New York State Senate Kids

New York State Assembly Kids' Page

Enjoy these sites and check back next week for a listing of fabulous and fun books for kids that are about U.S. government. (yes, I said fun books about government!)

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