School using new seal to show students the importance of voting
Next year, students at Leavelle McCampbell middle school will step foot in a brand new building.
With that fresh start comes a new seal for the school.
Students will vote on their favorite design, and teachers are taking this opportunity to teach about democracy.
Coming at a time where not many young voters are expected to head to the polls in this year's election.
At 8 in the morning-- the hallways of Leavelle McCampbell middle school aren't normally filled with students leaving class.
"I'm excited and nervous at the same time," said Caleb Lott, a sixth grader.
He and his schoolmates are making history, selecting a school seal for their new building.
And it's their very first time voting by ballot
"This might kind of prepare me for when I get older, so I'll kind of already know what to do when I want to vote," Lott said.
They're mimicking what their parents will do in less than two months-- choosing a new U.S. president.
And in both cases the decision will have lasting effects.
"[They're] seeing democracy at work and seeing how their vote really does matter," said Lisa McCall-Toole, a sixth grade social studies teacher.
"Civic education is one of those things that I'd say we don't do a great job of here in the United States," said Dr. Steven Millies a political science professor at USC-Aiken.
"On the first day of class, when I teach the American Government class, I give the citizenship test," Dr. Millies said. "My pass rate tends to be between 3 and 4 percent."
Millennials, who are now college-age or older, are expected to have a low turnout to this year's election although they're considered the largest voting group and have a huge say in choosing our next president.
But these middle-schoolers understand the importance of their vote.
"Even if I'm not old enough to be a voter, but still to realize that this is a skill that I need to develop and I'm going to use this skill for the rest of my life," said Dr. Millies.
"If you don't vote, then why are you going to complain? Like actually have a say in it," Lott said.
Teachers hope the students will go home and encourage their parents and older siblings to vote this year.
If you haven't registered to vote-- the deadline in South Carolina is October 8th. In Georgia it's October 11th.