Though they are still a few years away from voting, some West Seattle High School students are having their voices heard this election year.
They’re participating in a nationwide project called Letters to the Next President. Each student is writing a letter to tell the next president about the most important social issue s/he should address.
WSHS teachers Kira Hopkins and Nicholas Rose decided to have their classes participate. The benefits are many, Rose told us – for one, the students, though too young to vote, “want to be heard.” Also, this project is honing skills from argumentative writing to research. That’s also what Hopkins told us in her original invitation to us to cover the project: “As a teacher, I’m excited about this project because students are practicing research and argument skills to become informed voters for the next generation. My students are excited about it because they get to write about an issue that matters to them and get involved.”
We visited the WSHS Library last week while some of Rose’s 9th-graders were working on their letters. We talked with two of them on video:
Karen wants the next President to focus on teen homelessness:
Morgan, meantime, is writing to the next President about health-care spending:
We asked Rose about other topics that students have chosen for their letters; immigration and police-related issues are popular, he told us.
The students’ final drafts are due this week. Their letters eventually will be uploaded to the Letters to the Next President website, which already is featuring more than 3,400 letters.