Join the Debates has joined forces with PBS Education and Letters to the Next President 2.O to provide opportunities for students to voice their opinions.
PBS Education's 50 for 50
PBS Education’s 50 for 50 is a contest that reinforces the importance of students across the country having a voice in the political process and government. From August 1st - September 21st, 6th - 12th grade students are invited to write an open letter to the 2016 Presidential Candidates with ideas on what needs to change in government to get more accomplished. Two students (one middle school and one high school) will win a trip to Las Vegas to view the final Presidential Debate with the media. Click here to enter!
Letters to the next president
Letters to the Next President 2.0 (L2P 2.0) is an initiative that empowers young people (13-18) to voice their opinions and ideas on the issues that matter to them in the coming election. Today, it’s a place for teachers and mentors to get resources: about the election, about studying issues and writing arguments, and about participating in civic conversations during the election season. Late summer/early fall, L2P 2.0 converts to a massive, open online publishing platform where any educator or youth mentor can make space for students to voice their thinking about the issues that they believe the next president—whomever he or she may be—needs to address.
Join the Debates 1.0
In 2012, Join the Debates helped facilitate a series of online conversations between high school students after each presidential debate. Participating students were put together in small, geographically diverse groups, and met with a trained facilitator in a Google Hangout for an hour-long discussion about the topics brought up by candidates during the debate.
In addition to coordinating the Google Hangout groups, Join the Debates produced training videos and a Facilitator Handbook for volunteers leading the online discussions. While some of the information in these resources focuses on facilitating an online discussion, the handbook and training videos are a valuable resource for teachers seeking to facilitate the Collaborative Discussion Method outlined in our 2016 Join the Debates project. The information is also helpful for anyone looking to become better at facilitating conversations whether at school, home, with friends, at civic gatherings, or at work.
Training videos are posted here. To receive the Facilitator Handbook, please follow our Request Materials link.