Nick helps kids Pick the Prez II

Another presidential election can only mean the return of Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick The President campaign, the yearlong initiative to get kids involved in understanding the election process, campaign issues and the candidates. Adding to the campaign this time around, kids are invited to take part in primary with the first of three new Nick News with Linda Ellerbee specials, Kids Pick the President: The Kids’ Primary, which bows Sunday, January 13 at 9p, as well as part of cable in the Classroom (date/time TBA). This special, which will also stream on TurboNick, aims to explain the election process, including defining what it means to be Democrat or a Republican. Kids are invited to cast their vote online in the Nick kid’s primary January 13-18, with the winner being announced on-air Friday, January 18 at 8p. Process and candidate information is currently available at Nick.com.

Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis – Cyn Kids 12/20/07

This is a great example of kids empowerment.  Not only allowing kids to hear their own voices, but to have an opinion of their own too. 

I remember back in the day when I was at Montessori and we had elections and went through the candidates & procedures… learning hands on in a fashion only the weird (but awesome) kids at Montessori are privy too….  The thing was– I still (even with all the facts) only listened to my parents’ opinions.  Same with my friends.  We all stuck to our loyal guns (because as a kid loyalty to family is first) and regurgitated all that our parents said… stickin’ it to the teachers trying to change our viewpoints (or trying to allow us individual viewpoints).

What Nickelodeon is doing is just another layer of information for kids.  To me– it’s not so important that kids are making decisions about this race, or that kids are going through the election process… in my view, the important factor is the fact Nickelodeon — a wicked cool media source — is helping to form some sort of early understand that voting IS cool, and that having a voice IS wicked awesome.  That’s the sort of platform we have to reinforce with youth… the youth that don’t take voting or the voice they have seriously.

Who knows… maybe the effort will all go to waste (re: MTV’s attempt with the older kids), or maybe it DOES build a sort of inner-excitement and early knowledge of elections for the future of this country.  Doesn’t hurt to try, right?  Kid Empowerment, baby, yeah!

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  1. December 30, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    “Who knows… maybe the effort will all go to waste (re: MTV’s attempt with the older kids), or maybe it DOES build a sort of inner-excitement and early knowledge of elections for the future of this country. Doesn’t hurt to try, right?”

    I don’t know.. I’m all for getting kids excited about the democratic process and learning how it can affect them in their real lives but at the same time can kids of the Nick viewing age really understand (or choose to pay attention to) the kind of discussions that presidential candidates are having? Also can a child really understand the wider details of what the pros and cons of the two main partys are? Can you actually be a democrat or republican at a young age beyond just repeating what your parents say?

  2. January 15, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Interestingly enough, I watched the Nick special last night with my daughter who tried to tell ME how to vote. It was hilarious. I kept trying to deconstruct WHERE (and how) she was getting her info…Peers? Teachers? Rumors of who was cool and not? etc.

    I purposely flat line in classic ‘centrist’ style so that she has to make up her own mind about some of the ‘big stuff’ (including metaphysical/religious pursuits, politicians, current events…) so it surprised me that she started out ‘in one camp’ (again…not sure where it’s comin’ from) and ended up in a wishy-washy blur of ‘a top 3’

    She was literally gesturing in ‘thumbs up, thumbs down’ style with each candidate’s sound bite on the Nick show, which in and of itself made me squirm ambivalently for the reasons Michael G mentions above on the deconstruction portion.

    As a media literacy queen, I can’t help but guide her with, ‘yeah, but that was a sound bite on ONE issue…where do they stand on this/that/the other’ you can’t be too quick to judge based on the media context alone…(that’s like choosing a candidate on their smile or they ‘seem nice’)

    Overall though I love the fact that Nick is instilling engagement, and sending an ‘S.O.S. to the world’ that our future depends on being involved, not apathetic. (as I call it with our Shaping Youth kids…”marketing hope”)

    I was duly impressed that she was interested enough to visit the site and WILL click through the process and follow the kids ‘primary’ (a clear departure for her norm, prompting me to ask if she gets ‘extra credit’ in some class for doing this, eek, what a cynical mom!)

    I’ll post on this more tmrw…and take a mini-poll of kids in our school’s eco club where I’m speaking on Wed. to see how many kids there also watched it; seems there’s a pattern w/kids of early engagement on all fronts in terms of life habits and setting one’s course, so I say Bravo to Nickelodeon (and Linda Ellerbee, who’s always been a role model/voice!) for giving it a go…it seems to be ‘working.’ 🙂 At least in my house!

  1. February 5, 2008 at 3:39 am

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