NOVEMBER 2018 – LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT

Dear Friend,

There was an important election this month with two very engaging candidates! In addition to the federal, state and local elections on November 6, the Children’s Museum encouraged families to vote for their favorite children’s book. The two nominees were Knuffle Bunny and The Gruffalo. Visit CMEE’s Instagram or Facebook page to see the winner announced!

By hosting an election at the Children’s Museum, we wanted to encourage children to see how voting can make a difference. Research has shown that voting habits are formed early in life. When young people get in the habit of regularly casting ballots, they are more likely to continue voting after they reach the age of 18. Participating in an election also provides an opportunity for children to investigate the candidates and issues, and discuss their pros and cons. My own family was split between candidates in the Museum’s election. When I asked my two boys who they planned to vote for, my two-year-old expressed definite support for The Gruffalo while my older son was initially partial to Knuffle Bunny. My five-year-old nephew said he would vote for “Knuffalo.”

Of course, another effective way to help kids appreciate voting as a civic responsibility is to model it for them. That’s why we brought our boys to the polling station when we voted. They like watching the ballot go through the scanner and the best part was that we got stickers after voting. My sons are on board with anything that involves stickers.

If you have children, please consider bringing them with you when you vote. We need to foster more voter participation. In the 2016 election, only 57% of voting-aged citizens in New York went to the polls, which was the eighth-worst voter turnout among states in the country. Two years earlier, the percentage was even worse when turnout was only 34%.

Thank you to all the children who participated in the election at the Children’s Museum. Unlike New York State, we offered online voting in addition to casting ballots in person at the Museum. It definitely increased voter turnout!

Sincerely,
Steve

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