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The Madison Record

I Vote Madison schedules Kid’s Civic Engagement Day

MADISON – Children can experience the good feeling of involvement in their community with the first annual Kid’s Civic Engagement Day.

The I Vote Madison group is organizing the event on May 14 at Madison Public Library from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The activity is intended for children in elementary school.

“This free, family-friendly event will inspire elementary-aged children to positively impact their communities through civic action,” spokesperson Heather Morgan said. “There will be story times, hands-on activities, presentations by youth role models, book giveaways, unique photo opportunities and food trucks.”

“The event serves to remind us, the adults, not to overlook, underestimate or undervalue our young community members,” Morgan said.

I Vote Madison’s mission is increasing civic engagement by providing education to residents and removing participation barriers at the community level. “Our big vision is a Madison shaped by residents. As an organization, we seek to provide the information, environment and tools that are essential for effective civic engagement,” Morgan said.

“It’s never too early to get kids civically involved,” Morgan said. “We’re hoping for beautiful weather to accompany children’s literature and civic action. Meet us on the back patio and lawn of Madison Public Library.”

I Vote Madison is excited to feature civically-engaged youth role models at the event. “In 2020, a group of local homeschool students discovered Alabama did not have an official state vegetable. They took it upon themselves to do something. They used the legislative process, something we usually think of as the sole domain of adults, to do it, and they succeeded,” Morgan said.

These homeschool students will be on stage to field interview questions, along with availability for discussions throughout the event. “They’re bringing correspondence from the legislators they worked with (and) information about Alabama’s other state symbols,” Morgan said.

The event flier sums up the tenets for Kid’s Civic Engagement Day. A girl holds a donation box to symbolize the many fundraisers that residents conduct. A boy with a “Future Voters” sign encourages youth to vote when they’re old enough. A girl holding a lightbulb with a leaf inside represents environmental action.

“We want everyone – all demographics – to be civically engaged, and this includes the youth in our community. They will be our future leaders, but Madison is also their city right now,” Morgan said.

Although children can’t vote yet, “they can play a role in shaping our city. Our event is designed to inspire them, empower them and provide them with opportunities to make a difference,” Morgan said.

“We want to thank the following organizations for participating in the event: League of Women Voters of the Tennessee Valley, North Alabama Zoological Society, Partnership for a Drug-Free Community and Madison Public Library,” Morgan said.

For more information, visit ivotemadison.com/civicday, Facebook/I Vote Madison or Twitter # IVoteMadison or # KidsCivicDay

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