Thousands of Ontario teachers are using the Student Vote Ontario program to bring democracy, politics and real-life issues into the classroom this spring, coinciding with the provincial election on June 2. 

This parallel election provides students under the voting age with an opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand.

Participating schools receive learning materials to teach about government and democracy, and facilitate research into the parties and candidates. After learning about the election, students cast ballots for the official candidates running in their school’s electoral district.

CIVIX is speaking with educators throughout the province who are leading Student Vote Ontario to hear about their experiences and insights. Chris, who is leading the program at St. Paul Elementary in Toronto, told us how Student Vote inspired engaging class discussion on election issues, and how students brought those conversations home with them. 

Sharlene, also leading the program at St. Paul’s, shared why she leads Student Vote: it teaches students about democracy, and engages them in learning about the parties and their platforms in lead-up to election day. 

More than 2,400 schools are registered to participate in the program, representing all 124 electoral districts throughout Ontario. We plan to share more of their experiences in the weeks to come. 

This will be the sixth Student Vote provincial parallel election conducted in Ontario. In 2018, more than 280,000 elementary and high school students cast ballots from more than 2,100 schools.