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  • Writer's pictureMary Mathew

Civic Engagement and Literacy Go Hand in Hand

Updated: Apr 23

It’s never too early to start inspiring children's civic engagement with books. Book Harvest is excited to partner with Kids Voting Durham to provide books to children and families about voting, the election process, and why they matter.

Kids Voting Durham, based out of Durham County Cooperative Extension, is a non-partisan effort to help children and youth under 18 understand and believe in the power they have as engaged citizens and informed voters. Through classroom supports, youth voice activities, family engagement, and an authentic voting experience, they are helping to build a generation that is rich in civic knowledge, skills, and agency.

Literacy has a long history of being connected to civic participation, and in many cases serving as a barrier to voting. In the past, literacy tests have been used to prevent racial minority groups from casting their vote. Low literacy rates continue to keep many eligible voters from engaging in the electoral process.

Understanding how to actively participate and create change in one's community and society, or civic literacy, is essential for a healthy democracy. Books are a great way to increase children's knowledge and understanding of different aspects of civic life and their likelihood to be engaged in the future.

Families are the one of the most important influences on their children’s civic behavior. Parents can involve their children at any age in elections and democracy. Reading and talking about books together is one way of making civic engagement a family affair.

“Civic engagement and literacy go hand in hand,” says Carolyn Krueger, Kids Voting Durham Coordinator. “We are so grateful for our friends at Book Harvest for making some fabulous books about voting and elections available for the youth and families we work with.”

We look forward to hosting some events with Kids Voting Durham in our Family Space later this year! Information about the upcoming election, photo IDs, and voter registration forms are also available to families in the Family Space and from our team.

Explore some titles below, including some available in English and Spanish:

  • Duck for President by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

  • I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference by Mark Shulman  

  • Equality’s Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen

  • A Superpower for Me by Mariana Llanos

  • Sadie McGrady Runs for President by Mary Parry

  • Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

  • What Can a Citizen Do by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris

  • For Which We Stand: How Our Government Works and Why It Matters by Jeff Foster

  • Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winters

  • Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio and LeUyen Pham 

  • Vote for our Future by Margaret McNamara and Micah Player

  • Ketanji: Justice Jackson’s Journey to the U.S. Supreme Court by Kekla Magoon and Laura Freeman

  • This Little Voter by Little Bee Books and Ann Bonnie

  • LaRue for Mayor: Letters from the Campaign Trail by Mark Teague


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