Civic Engagement Projects take shape at Bitney Prep High School

group of students standing for a photo

By The Union on November 13, 2019

Tori Newman, Bitney Prep High School’s new Social Studies Teacher, has made it her mission to have all of Bitney’s seniors registered to vote for this year’s upcoming elections. 'It’s important, more than ever, for kids to be civically engaged,' says Newman. 'We see from studies that even students who have had a comprehensive government class in high school still don’t know how to engage civically with their community. Registering to vote is one of the first steps students can take, but, oftentimes, registering is not high on high school students’ lists.'

When Newman found out from one of her colleagues that since 2014 Californians have been able to preregister starting at age 16, which then automatically registers them when they turn 18, she saw this as an opportunity to make sure all of the students in her Government class got registered.

'We have candidates currently running for office who are talking about automatic voter registration for all Americans,' cites Newman. 'Until that happens, this is the next best step.'

Newman, a first-year teacher, graduated from Nevada Union High School in 2015 and received her teaching credential from UC Davis where she is currently enrolled in their Master’s of Education program. She cites Molly Starr, her government teacher at NU, for helping her become more civic-minded. 'Molly always prompted us to get involved,' Newman says. 'And I wanted to continue this legacy.' Newman is going one step further than just getting all of her seniors registered, though, she’s asking them to be activists."

Read the full story at The Union

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