On Tuesday, November 3rd the intersection of Madison and 125th Street in Harlem was a sea of yellow hats on all corners. Scholars from schools across the Democracy Prep network came out in full force to participate in the Get-Out-the-Vote campaign, encouraging residents to “voice your choice” in the New York general election.
A group of scholars from Democracy Prep Harlem Elementary School met the lunch crowd with chants of “I can’t vote, but you can!” Eager to comment on the importance of voting, several students discussed why they ‘get out the vote.’
“It’s important to vote so that people hear your voice,” explained Isaiah, a second-grade scholar. “People need to fight for justice and see who will be president,” suggested Anaiah, his classmate. Several passersby agreed, pumping their fists in solidarity as the scholars’ chant continued.
Later in the afternoon, scholars from Harlem Prep Middle School joined the effort, bringing voter registration forms with them. “Some people don’t vote because they aren’t registered,” explained Donald B., an eighth-grade scholar. “That’s why we give them instructions to go to this website.” Classmate Cassandra J. added that “people don’t take voting seriously, but it can impact the future.”
Get Out The Vote 2015
Scholars in the Bronx, Harlem, Camden, and Baton Rouge, LA took to the streets in their neighborhoods to urge members of their communities to vote.
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Ms. Gabrielle Sarda, the Family Support Specialist at Harlem Prep Middle, was excited to take part in the Get-Out-the-Vote effort as well. “I can’t wait to see what this will look like years from now, and how scholars will feel in the future when they reflect on their participation. It really is important work; a simple reminder to vote goes a long way.”
Chenea C., an eighth-grade scholar from Harlem Prep who was participating in her third Get- Out-the-Vote campaign, felt confident of the impact that her classmates were making. “I think people expect us to be out here; they are used to the bright yellow shirts and they know why we’re here. It’s important to vote because many voices can make a difference.”
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