The League of Women Voters of Washington is committed to civic education across the state for all age groups and within all communities. Below are stories about civic education projects from Leagues across the state. Learn more about these projects by following the link to inventories which contain why the League consider that project important, the population served, and contact information.
Find the nearest bookstore and ask about doing a civics display. The LWV Bellingham-Whatcom County worked with the Village Books at Fairhaven, WA to create a visual delight of books/LWV signs, voting information, and anti-racism books. For two months, the bookstore showcased this artistic design in a large window close to a path of many locals and tourists. (Civic Education Inventory for Adults p. 2).
The LWV Seattle King County worked with Shoreline College on quarterly programs to register students to vote and to educate students on civics education. This project encouraged student advocacy and supported the work of an important organization in LWV Seattle King County’s community. (Civic Education Inventory for Adults, p. 9).
The LWV Snohomish helps new members solidify League and advocacy knowledge at both the local and state levels. New members learn how to find League positions and program, how to track legislation, and to give input on legislation they would want passed. (Civic Education Inventory for Adults, p. 17).
A group of LWV Thurston League members (25-30) meet every week. They go over current local, state and national issues and review the League’s position on the issues. After much discussion, they focus on writing to various governmental officials about their stand on the issues. (Civic Education Inventory for Adults, p. 19).
The Pandemic did not stop the LWV Bellingham Whatcom from posting 300 signs, distributing 100 Every Vote Counts T-shirts, and printing 3100 bookmarks on voting for city and county libraries. One League member donated $1 to the Whatcom Community County food bank for every student who voted. (Civic Education Inventory for Adults, pp. 19-20).
LWV of Bellingham-Whatcom County provided congratulatory packets to all high school seniors in their area. “…we would like to welcome you to one of the awesome privileges and responsibilities of being an adult in the United States – voting to select the individuals who represent you in our government.” (Civic Education Inventory for Youth, p. 3)
LWV Benton/Franklin spoke to high school classes on the importance of voting, with a focus on voting for local representatives. League members showed students how regional government, both at school and home, directly affects students and their community (Civic Education Inventory for Youth, pp 3-4).
Partnering with an Educational Service District
Since 2018, LWV Clallam has been partnering with the Olympic Educational Service District 114 to offer workshops for teachers on Kids Voting. Kids Voting USA is a national program for K-12 civic education with civic lessons/activities and online software for creating online or printed ballots. Many Kids Voting activities also include a strong family component. (Civic Education Inventory for Youth, p. 4).
Using Contacts in K-12: Kiwanis Key Clubs
LWV Clark researched any possible contact that League members had in the local schools. A League member knew a district leader of Kiwanis Key Clubs. Through this contact, the League reached out to all the sponsors of Key Clubs in the local high schools. League members presented to Key Club students on “How to Have Your Voices Heard through Voting.” (Civic Education Inventory for Youth, p. 6).
A LWV San Juan member had contacts with teachers and administrators from working in, helping with school projects, and volunteering in schools over the years. She asked the teachers she knew for referrals on the other islands for the teachers she had not met. Through her work, LWV San Juan has donated 38 copies of The State We’re In: WA (8th edition) textbooks to San Juan schools and libraries and by mail to Orcas and Lopez Island public and private schools and libraries. (Civic Education Inventory for Youth, p. 11).