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Voter Activities at the UU Congregation of Atlanta
Fourth graders at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta (UUCA) learned about democracy and political participation while they explored Travel in Time, a Unitarian Universalist Association program about the relevance of UU Principles to current times and their own lives. Following a lesson about Susan B. Anthony (and celebrating her birthday, February 15th), fourth graders took charge of the voter registration table available at coffee hour. They registered voters and asked adults to self-address a pledge to vote postcard which said: "I pledge to affirm and promote our fifth Unitarian Universalist Principle, the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process, by exercising my constitutional right to vote—and encouraging others to do the same. I pledge to vote in accordance with all of our UU Principles in order to make the world a better place." Everyone who signed the pledge or registered to vote got a piece of Susan B. Anthony's birthday cake. And congregants will receive their postcards reminding them to vote the week before the election.
To enrich the program, DRE Pat Kahn used ideas she found at a website for children called Kids Voting USA, a "non-profit, non-partisan national organization." In an activity that demonstrates what it means to be an informed voter, kids were given ballots with a yes or no checkbox that simply said—ice cream, recess, TV, etc. They were given no instructions and, of course, voted yes for ice cream, recess, and TV. Then they were given a second ballot with the full information—only garlic-flavored ice cream will be served, recess will be 20 minutes of sit-ups and push-ups, TV will be in the classrooms—but only commercials. It was an eye-opening learning experience.
Contact: Director of Religious Education Pat Kahn pkahn [at] uuca [dot] org