September Civic Education Newsletter

>>>>September Civic Education Newsletter
September Civic Education Newsletter2020-09-23T10:41:28-06:00

The Civic Education Newsletter is our monthly publication that allows you to stay updated on the latest announcements in civic education. Subscribe to receive the newsletter directly to your inbox!

Download the newsletter as a PDF here

September 2020


The voter registration deadline for the 2020 general election is October 5th. Make sure Texas youth are registered and ready to vote with these easy steps:

  • Grab your voter registration toolkit – a handy guide by CDF-Texas answering all your questions about voter eligibility and registration.
  • Check out Own Our Vote for a collection of more resources such as videos, presentations, and tips to motivate young Texas voters. There are materials in both English and Spanish.

Did you know 1 in 4 eligible Texas voters weren’t registered during the primaries, and Latinx and Black voters are even more likely to be unregistered due to generations of disenfranchisement?

People are more likely to register to vote when they are asked directly. You can help by joining Houston in Action to call or text unregistered voters here.


Help young Texans be informed voters before they head to the polling place.

  • Catch up on the Be A Texas Voter curriculum – a series of voter education videos presented by League of Women Voters of Texas.
  • Texas counties run their own elections from voter registration to polling places. Find your county’s election website here.

Explore how the history of voter suppression continues to shape election laws today. 

  • Join the Future Voters Project from Teaching Tolerance to teach students about the history of voter suppression and empower them to become voting rights advocates for their own communities. All videos are accessible with captions or transcripts, and are adaptable for remote learning.

Did you know 16- and 17-year-olds are eligible to work as election clerks during Early Voting or on Election Day?

Just like regular poll workers, student election clerks are paid to help at polling places to make sure elections run smoothly. Learn more and apply now.

Teens at table

Not eligible to vote? There are plenty of ways to be civically engaged beyond the ballot box. We celebrate many forms of civic participation. Keep reading for more….


Young girl with microphone


The past months have demonstrated once again that there are many forms of civic engagement that can change the world. Help students understand the role of protesting in civic life and the current Black Lives Matter movement with these resources:

  • Share a timeline of youth-led movements in the United States or research youth leaders around the world who are changing their communities.
  • Use Selma Online to connect the civil rights movement to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and the ongoing struggle to protect voting rights today.
  • Watch Freedom Summer to learn about student efforts to register voters in Mississippi. An emphasis on youth-led activism helps students understand their own civic power.
  • Use the 1619 Project to discuss the history of anti-Black racism in the United States. The curriculum, developed by the Pulitzer Center, includes guided reading questions and activities such as creating oral histories or mapping your community’s connection to slavery.
  • Invite young Texans to consider their own role as civic leaders through the Youth Participatory Politics Action Frame.


  • iCivics provides civic-focused games that can be pre-downloaded on devices and played without Internet access. Games are available in English and Spanish.
  • Teaching Tolerance suggests 34 “Do Something” tasks that can be adapted for students of all ages. Try creating a collage of issues, contacting officials, or writing original stories and poems. 
Kids exercising
Woman at protest


  • Encourage students to practice and model civic behavior by filling out the 2020 Census here. Connect the Census to funding for issues that students care about.
  • Democracy Powered By You(th) has launched a nationwide get-out-the-vote initiative geared for middle school and high school students. Find more information on how to participate here!
  • Mikva Challenge is organizing a wide array of events on the election for youth, educators, and for your professional development. Read more and sign up for their virtual phone-bank here.
  • Check out Generation Citizen’s Beyond the Ballot. The first lesson focuses on local governments and services, while the second guides students on how to address an issue in their community.

COVID-19: Social-Emotional Learning & Wellness

  • The CDC has recently released a COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit, aimed at parents who are concerned about their children’s mental health amidst COVID-19. The toolkit has been specialized for children of all ages and you can find it here!
  • Share this guide from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network with tips for responding to children’s needs at different ages. The guide is available in English, Spanish, and Mandarin.
  • Find ways to acknowledge the effects of the pandemic on your life and the lives of your students. These reflections from a college professor are applicable to teachers and caregivers working with youth of all ages.

COVID-19: Current Events and Media Literacy

  • state social studies standards and are updated daily.

Young people protesting


  • Listen to 60-Second Civics, a project by the Center for Civic Education, for a daily podcast & nearly 4,000 archived episodes.
  • Review the Texas Civic Health Index to see how civic participation compares in Texas with other states.
  • Reread CDF-TX’s 2019 Youth Vote Report for a Texas-specific history of voting rights and voter suppression to prepare for the 2021 legislative session as we work to create and strengthen pro-voter legislation.

Recess: Just for Fun!

  • Take a free virtual museum tour, this time with an updated list including 18 more museums!
  • Audible is still offering free children’s audiobooks available in six languages. Check out more options from your local public library.
  • Explore the world using Google Earth in a way you never have. The platform now has a create feature that allows you to place landmarks, drive, and find new places based on places you’ve already been.

Other Resources

View previous editions of our Civic Education newsletter!


Contact our Youth Civic Education & Engagement Coordinator Maggie Stern with any questions or concerns.

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