For years, Florida schools have provided civics education to high schoolers but one teacher in Alachua County is catching them earlier on.
Try explaining the reason why we have an Electoral College to a seventh grader or how about explaining the Naturalization Process? Those are just some of the challenges that this teacher at P.K. Yonge faces each day.
Seventh grade teacher Jackie Sirmopoulos is one of just two teachers in the state teaching year-long civics courses to middle schoolers-- most other schools simply make the subject part of their social studies classes.
She teaches the course at P.K. Yonge in Southwest Gainesville and says she hopes other schools in Florida will follow suit.
Elizabeth Washington, a University Of Florida Professor and Senior Fellow for the Florida Joint Center For Citizenship calls it adventurous.
This class covers all aspects of U.S. government and Sirmopoulos presents lots of activities and guest speakers to get them interested. The Students offer questions and ideas... a response Sirmopoulos says they give her every day.
"They're getting us ready for life and they're letting us do it together instead of independently."
"We're starting to learn it now. So, we'll be that much more informed when we're old enough to vote."
Those students followed the presidential election very closely this year. They even compared both candidates platforms.
And Sirmopoulos says that's what makes her work so rewarding.
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