Community Foundation of New Jersey

New Jersey Students to Participate in Mock Presidential Election

August 16, 2016

What do New Jersey’s middle and high school students think about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? And how are their opinions different from their parents’?  We will soon know, thanks to a unique philanthropic partnership.

The New Jersey Center for Civic Education and the New Jersey Social Studies Supervisors Association today announced that the Community Foundation of New Jersey will fund the New Jersey Mock Election project.

The project aims to have the active participate of students in grades five through twelve from more than 300 school districts throughout the state.  Statewide, congressional district, and county-level results from the mock election will be released just prior to the November 8th presidential election. The results may provide clues as to how New Jerseyans will vote.

“We live in a partisan age, when the Internet makes materials based on political opinion readily available to students,” explained Robert O’Dell, District Social Studies Coordinator for the Nutley Public Schools. “It is the goal of the mock election to help provide students with the intellectual tools necessary to locate, evaluate, and utilize data and information on their own in order to become informed voters.”

The New Jersey Mock Election project seeks to foster greater civic awareness among students, not only regarding the electoral process and the formal structures of government, but also about the values, skills and attitudes necessary for informed and active citizenship. In addition to the coordination of an annual mock election, the project includes the development of an in-depth civics curriculum and professional development for teachers.

“We believe that an effective and ongoing civic education curriculum will improve the nature and quality of our political discourse,” said Hans Dekker, president of the Community Foundation of New Jersey. “Simply showing students how to think critically, identify biases, and make informed decisions based on data will go a long way in preparing our state’s next generation for their future civic duties.”

The New Jersey Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences, provides professional development and resources for K-12 educators. The New Jersey Social Studies Supervisors Association is a membership organization of social studies supervisors dedicated to enhancing the teaching of social studies in the state.

To learn more about the Community Foundation’s support for the New Jersey Mock Election project, or to support the project yourself, contact Margarethe Laurenzi at 973-267-5533 or mlaurenzi@cfnj.org.

About the Community Foundation of New Jersey

Since 1979, individuals and businesses have opened charitable funds at the Community Foundation of New Jersey to fulfill their charitable goals and craft their philanthropic legacies. These Legacy Funds and Donor Advised Funds have granted on average more than $30 million each year, and enabled the Foundation to launch its own Changemaker Projects that are improving New Jersey and its dynamic communities. The Foundation’s funds currently hold over $380 million in charitable assets and made over 5,000 grants last year to charitable work in New Jersey and across the world.