More than 1,000 schools signed up so far; attorney volunteers needed!

As members of the legal profession, we have the unique opportunity to participate in the election process in a way that will help our state’s young people. The Indiana Kids’ Election (IKE) program is a fantastic way for you to donate a very small amount of time and have a substantial impact in educating our students about the election process.

I was unaware of this, but the state requires that students be taught about the election process. In order to help teachers fulfill this requirement, your Indiana State Bar Association has been offering IKE since 1992, in partnership with the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Education. And this year, we are receiving special funding from the Indiana Bar Foundation. In addition, IKE has been approved by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission as an official 2016 Bicentennial Legacy Project.  

The program itself is an enormous undertaking. Teachers statewide are provided with lesson plans that meet current state academic standards, as well as resources (to include “I Voted” stickers, student registration form, student ballot form) to implement a classroom or school-wide mock election, where students participate in voting milestones such as registering to vote on or before Tuesday, Oct. 11, and casting a ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 8 – just like their parents. In addition, by way of partnering with the Indiana Debate Commission, students will have the opportunity to watch the first gubernatorial debate on Sept. 27 during the school day from their classroom. You can click here to learn more about this!

We already have more than 1,000 schools signed up for the program so far and registration is still open. This means that we need more attorneys to participate. Not only is it a great way to volunteer your time with only one-hour commitment on your part, but it’s also a great way to showcase to our young people that attorneys are wonderful people. I know you are very busy, but in this case, we can match you up in a school near you so that you won’t have to travel very far. You can contact Carissa Long at the Indiana State Bar Association clong@inbar.org for more information or just sign up for the 2016 IKE Speakers’ Bureau at www.inkidselection.com.

This is a very unique election year and I am certain our children are hearing about it from home, the news, at school and everywhere else. This is our chance to explain how the election process works and encourage our Indiana students to become active voters when they are of voting age. I sincerely thank you for your willingness to serve to help make our profession better and to educate the children of our state in a very meaningful way.

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