Becoming involved in and understanding the political process is an essential duty of every American citizen. If properly formed, our moral consciences help us participate in government without denying our Catholic faith. Students should not wait until they are of voting age before forming their moral consciences. Nor should they wait to become involved in the politics and government of our country.
Learning solely through a textbook how American government works is not enough to form concerned citizens. We need to teach students to be proactive, even before they reach the voting age.
Here are five ways students can involve themselves with local, state, and federal governments:
- Visit the state capitol, the mayor’s office, or Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Many state capitol buildings offer tours and opportunities to visit representatives or to listen to a session from the public gallery.
- Visit a congressman’s or senator’s district office, meet the staff, and discover how the representatives serve their community with more than just votes in Congress.
- Attend a Town Hall meeting or similar gathering of constituents to hear what the representatives in Congress have planned for the future of their districts.
- During election season, volunteer to knock on doors or make phone calls for a local pro-life politician. This is a great way to experience the electoral process before reaching the voting age. Plus, students will gain a “behind the scenes” look at what it takes to run for office.
- Investigate internship opportunities with congressmen or state representatives. While many internships are for college students, some congressmen might offer either a learning day at their district office for high school students or even a limited summer internship opportunity.
All of these opportunities are an excellent way to show students what they can do to be involved in the political process of our country. Fostering an interest in politics isn’t difficult. Each one of these political activism opportunities is a great way to spark conversations about what it means to be a good leader and what role we play as citizens of our great nation.
Would you like your students to learn more about being pro-life citizens? Get Pro-Life Citizenship, a two day lesson for your students from our online store. In this lesson packet, students learn about how Christian voters need to form their consciences before election day so that they can make moral decisions at the polling place. This lesson is recommended for high school, but can also be adapted for use in 7th and 8th grade.
Mary Kizior is the Product Development and Marketing Manager for the Culture of Life Studies Program. Her work has appeared on LifeSiteNews.com, Christ Is Our Hope magazine, Celebrate Life Magazine, Defend Life magazine, the Peanut Butter and Grace blog, and other blogs.