Philly Kids Rock the Cradle of Democracy!
They can’t vote yet, but an army of K-12 kiddos participated in the 2022 November 8th election in a creative, impactful, and thoroughly nonpartisan way.
Fresh Artists kicked off the new school '22-'23 year with a fast, fun “Vote That Jawn, Jr. Graphic Design Challenge” for all K-12 Philly public schools! A nonpartisan art and civics design program where children learned about voting and designed their own “I Voted” sticker to help Get-Out-The-Vote in the 2022 November 8th midterm election.
“If you can tell other people why voting is important, you become a lifetime voter!“ - Sarita, UPENN, Vote That Jawn Intern.
This is Fresh Artists’ second Design Challenge in partnership with #VoteThatJawn, the dynamic teen-to-21 get-out-the-vote program run by college and high school kids at Safe Kids Stories, a creative writting program founded by UPenn professor and novelist, Lorene Cary. Almost 500 students participated in Fresh Artists 2020 challenge while Covid-sheltering-in-place, with artwork digitally submitted by K-12 kids from Anchorage AK to Anthony, NM back to Camden NJ!.
This year, more than 300 young artists submitted "I Voted" designs to our 2-part Philly challenge!
Part One: LEARNING & DEISGNING
This innovative, district-wide, nonpartisan civics program introduced K-12 children from Philadelphia public schools to the precious rights and responsibilities of the tenets of democracy and how voting works through a special lesson created by veteran Philadelphia educator, Anne Spector.
During Anne's lesson the children watched a video of our summer intern Amaryllis Green reading Grace For President, written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. An appealing story that “delivers lessons on electoral votes, polls, and the reason every vote counts” says the New York Times review of this best-selling children’s storybook about the way democracy works. In addtion, kids watched Fresh Artists’ video interview with Grace's author, Ms. DiPucchio about how she came to write this book.
Kids watched several 2-minute, entertaining and educational YouTube videos we made featuring professional graphic designers giving kids their favorite hot tips for making powerful designs. Then all the young designers worked with a graphic design lesson plan created by Norristown Art teachers, Rachel Brewster and Susan Kelly, to design their own unique “I Voted” stickers.
Part Two: VOTING!
All participating youngsters exercised their voting knowledge by actually participating in an “election” - voting for the best design, then inviting their peers, teachers, and families to vote for their favorite design on Fresh Artists’ Online Voting Gallery. Fresh Artists’ “elected” (aka “winning”) designs were made into “I VOTED!” stickers for distribution at 2 Polling Sites in Philly schools on Election Day, November 8th, 2022.
THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE: CONTRATULATIONS to FIRST PLACE WINNERS
More than 1,000 votes were cast on Fresh Artists Online Voting Gallery! The 3 "I Voted" designs listed below are the ones that received the most “People’s Choice” votes in their grade category!
These designs are being turned into stickers to be given to voters at a Philly polling place on November 8th for the mid-term elections! Fresh Artists will be announcing the name and location of the Philly polling places Monday, November 7th.
Aiden, Grade K-2, Thomas Holmes Elementary School (American flag)
Erin, Grade 3-5, Tacony Academy Charter School (purple ghost)
Angel, Grade 6-8, Hartranft School (Philly Fanatic & friends!)
Fresh Artists’ founder, Barbara Chandler Allen often says, “One of Fresh Artists’ core values is the adage, “Great art doing good”. We tell kids, “Your artwork can have PURPOSE. It can do more than end up on the refrigerator! It can go to work to help change the world!”
We believe K-12 kids can be earnest, compelling advocates to encourage family members and close community members to register and vote when they are educated in the importance of America’s democracy and every citizens’ individual responsibility to keep it strong.
“If you can tell other people why voting is important, you become a lifetime voter!“ – Sarita, UPENN, #VoteThatJawn Intern.
This successful artful advocacy project will be rolled out for the 3rd time before the 2024 Presidential Election.
For our non-Philly friends:
A “jawn” is Philly street slang for “a person, place or thing”.
Use: “Hey, will ya hand me that jawn over there….?”