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Community of Peace Academy: 11th-graders become election experts for their community

Oct 29, 2012 by

High school junior Shelby Hunter recently appointed herself a guide to all things November election for her boyfriend’s mom.

To the mom — a recent immigrant from El Salvador who still struggles with English — government can seem like an overwhelming and intimidating idea. Hunter set out to change that.

Hunter’s school, St. Paul’s Community of Peace Academy, is undertaking a similar bid on a larger scale. On Thursday, Nov. 1, its 11th-graders will pass out brochures on the races, role-play a debate between the presidential contenders and share directions to polling sites at their East Side charter school.

In a school community that’s largely low-income and first-generation immigrant, adults often can feel disengaged from politics, students say. So along with their social studies teacher, Courtney Humm, they are stepping in to educate and inspire relatives and neighbors to vote.

“My students are taking a politics class during an election year, and they are better informed than the general population,” Humm said. “We are trying to empower students to be the knowledge-holders in their communities.”

On a recent morning, Humm’s students huddled in small groups in a computer lab. They looked for Congressional candidate photos for their brochures. They scoured candidate websites for stances on key issues. Two students practiced chatting with would-be voters and pulling up Google maps to polling sites.

via Community of Peace Academy: 11th-graders become election experts for their community – TwinCities.com.

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