TUNED IN: Be the Voice That Rocks the World

Official Dosomething.org Project

The Problem

According to a recent study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement and the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, youth born between 1985 and 2004 say that government policies are relevant to the issues that concern them by a ratio of almost 8 to 1. While teens have strong opinions on the issues and are motivated to participate in the political process, identifying avenues for involvement (especially for teens not yet of voting age) can be challenging. TUNED IN was created to provide thousands of Washington, DC-area students avenues with which to get involved and have their voices heard.

Plan of Action

After working closely with Wootton High School and BBYO (B'nai B'rith Youth Organization), TUNED IN's educational component in 2008 looked as follows: April 21 and April 22: Wootton High School temporarily paused all ongoing curriculums and spent two consecutive days teaching about issues relevant to the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. Each department was assigned topic areas that related to regular course work and student leaders prepared lesson plans alongside faculty collaboratively. April 23: Every English class featured a panel of students that led class discussions on the issues discussed earlier that week. There was opportunity for debate and reflection through peer to peer dialogue about current events, election year issues and the significance of this generation's role in the 2008 election. April 24: Wootton High School held a school-wide assembly that included student-created multimedia pieces highlighting teen perspectives on community service and the election. The assembly also featured accomplished individuals that have dedicated their lives to community service and civic participation. That evening, April 24, thousands of DC area students and families gathered for TUNED IN's premier event at Wootton High School's athletic arena for a Rock the Vote-inspired teen empowerment rally and concert. The evening featured student created multimedia pieces, student speakers, elected representatives, and musical headliners The Pat McGee Band and Gym Class Heroes (MTV's 2007 Best New Artist of the Year). April 25: Capitalizing on the week's enthusiasm, 50 to 75 political service-based organizations came together for an activism fair at Wootton High School to make volunteer and internship opportunities tailored for a high school student's schedule available to the Wootton High School student body.

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