GRANT 197:

“A Single Vote” Suffrage Ballet

06/13/2016

One vote CAN change the course of history.

Young registered adults (ages 18-24) are the lowest percentage of active voters (gasp!). They often ask, “What difference would my vote make anyway?” The concerned League of Women Voters of Tennessee (LWVN) is fully determined to change this, and teach students how a single vote can truly change the course of history. Their project certainly won our vote, so let’s get to it.

LWVN and the Nashville Ballet are developing an exciting new project to bring a milestone in Tennessee history to life for middle school (grades 5-8) students. In 1920, young Representative Harry Burn (from Tennessee) cast the single deciding vote to ratify the 19th amendment that gave the right to vote to women in America. It was a crucial victory for American women, and a powerful reminder that one vote CAN change the course of history.

So, beginning in the fall of 2018 and continuing through the centennial celebration of the Suffrage Amendment in 2020, the five-member touring company of the Nashville Ballet will present the program to middle schools throughout the region. LWVN will develop accompanying classroom curriculum to incorporate into grade level history classes. While the suffrage story is included in the 5th grade history curriculum for Tennessee schools, the current curriculum guidelines focus entirely on the historical events instead of including the civic lesson of the value of voting. LWVN wants to provide this critical addendum, and we’re here to help.

LWVN will use our AWB grant to prepare classroom materials about the power of the vote as a way to effectively focus on that message in conjunction with Suffrage Ballet performances. This first innovative collaboration with the Nashville Ballet will be part of a larger endeavor called “My 1st Vote,” to help adolescents and young adults understand the power of the vote to effect change.

Follow LWVN on Facebook – and please remember – your vote always counts!