LWV OF THE NORTHWOODS recently coached students in the Rhinelander High School Key Club in organizing and running a school board candidate forum completely by themselves! The forum was moderated by two Advanced Placement Government students. “The students were responsible for choosing the questions to ask the candidates from a larger list of questions we developed together. What was amazing were the follow-up questions asked by the student moderators when the candidates’ answers didn’t satisfy them! We were so proud of the entire group of students. We also very much appreciated the Key Club advisor and teaching staff collaboration in making this forum happen,” said LWV Northwoods board member Debra Durchslag. Read a student write-up of the event here.
This inspiring student lesson in democratic values was facilitated by the League with support from the high school Social Studies Department and the Key Club. Kiwanis Key Club is the youth group for Kiwanis International and the oldest and largest leadership and service program for high school students. Club members elect their own officers, attend monthly meetings and regularly organize projects with local community organizations. The Rhinelander High School Key Club has worked with the Northwoods League for the past three years registering students to vote. The students’ level of local civic engagement was significantly raised by being entrusted to run a League-supervised forum for school board candidates, any of whom, depending on the election outcome, would be accountable for achievement standards and the overall performance of the very school the students attend. The event is an extraordinary example of how local Leagues can help schools in their community empower our youth through effective and innovative civic education exercises.