A Special Note to Young Readers:
Have you ever thought about being a future leader?
In the coming years, our cities, states, and country will need smart, thoughtful, compassionate, hardworking people to take on important roles in our government.
Maybe you will be just the right person for the job, and the people will vote for you to become mayor or governor or even the president of the United States!
About the book:
Have you ever dreamed of running for President? If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier is here to help you learn everything you need to know to get ready.
Running for President is a major decision. It takes a lot of thought. Are you the right person for the job? How would your loved ones feel? Are you ready to work really, really, really hard? There’s a lot to consider. From running a successful campaign and working with a political party to debates and traveling from state to state, it requires talking and meeting with many different types of people to get them to vote for you. In November, you would finally get to see if the people decided that you would be the best person for the job of President of the United States of America.
This book is informative and witty, taking kids through an in-depth look at what it takes to run for president in terms they can understand. With a cast of diverse children, it sends the message that anyone can dream of being the leader of this great nation. Check out this Storyline Online animated-enhanced read aloud by three of the child actors from the show, This is Us.
Looking for Activities to make this Election Day special? Here are a few activities that can get your reader excited about voting and being civically engaged.
Vote for Me Campaign Buttons
Explain to your child how presidential candidates run campaigns with workers and volunteers who believe in them and want their candidate to be the next president. Discuss how candidates’ names and faces may appear on signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts, and campaign buttons.
Then encourage your child to pretend they are running for President of the United States or another office, and together, create a campaign button. Fun, eye-catching buttons may be fashioned with a few basic materials – a bit of poster board, a cupcake paper, glue, markers, or stickers. Simply cut out for your child a poster board circle about 2 1/2 inches around. Slightly flatten the cupcake liner and glue the circle in the middle (this will create a frilly border around the button). Your child can decorate the poster board circle with stickers, markers, and perhaps add a motto (Ben is the Best!) and a photo. Add double-stick tape on the back so your child can wear it on a t-shirt or sweater. For inspiration, check out the presidential campaign buttons arranged by election year at www.wisconsinhistory.org (type “campaign buttons” into the search bar for a selection).
Letter to a Voter: Me!
Ask your child to count out with you how many years it will be until they are 18 years old and can vote. Then ask your child to imagine if they could vote now. What issues are important to your future voter? Invite your child to write (or dictate) a letter to a voter who has the power to shape the world – their 18-year-old self! The letter might begin, “Dear Me, I am writing to you because I am not old enough to vote yet, but you can.” In the letter, your child can share hopes and concerns about the community, country, and world and remind a future self to exercise the right to make a difference by learning about issues and candidates and registering to vote. Tuck the letter away to share on your child’s 18th birthday.
Vote Today Signs
Invite your child to promote voting this campaign season by creating colorful “Remember to Vote” or “Your Vote Counts” signs. There are lots of possibilities for decorating a sign – paints, markers, glitter, stickers. Post it on your front door or front lawn as a bold reminder to passersby of the importance of voting.
Future Voter Badge
If possible, bring your child to the polling place for a glimpse of all that goes on, or if voting by mail-in ballot, let your child know about that process. In preparation, invite your child to create a “Future Voter” badge to wear. This may be as simple as a peel-off nametag sticker, decorated by your child with markers and stickers and, of course, the words FUTURE VOTER.
By showing your enthusiasm for the democratic process, you may instill in your child recognition and appreciation of this most important freedom – our right to choose our leaders by voting.
About the author:
Catherine Stier is the author of several children’s books, including the award-winning IF I RAN FOR PRESIDENT and the upcoming title A VOTE IS A POWERFUL THING, as well as the A DOG’S DAY chapter book series. She holds a Masters in Reading and Literacy and has served as a magazine writer, newspaper columnist, writing instructor, and a children’s literature researcher. Born in Michigan, Stier now resides in Texas.
Don’t forget to cast your vote!
What are some things you do to help your child understand the voting process? Feel free to share in the comments.