April 2020 Scharfman Grants Awarded to Four Local Leagues

Four local Leagues received Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education grants in April 2020:

LWV Brookline: LWV Brookline will purchase  and distribute “Voting Rights, Elections and Democracy: Books for Young People.” Outreach to young people is a priority for the League of Women Voters of Brookline (LWVB). They plan to establish an educational, non-partisan resource kit of books for young people in kindergarten to fifth grade pertaining to voting rights, elections, and democracy. The kit of books will be shared with community groups and with educators when public school open for the year in the fall of 2020. 

LWV Needham: On March 1, 2020, LWV-Needham and the Needham Girl Scouts held an event that was part of the yearlong program “Needham Celebrates Women,” in honor of the 100th anniversary of suffrage and the League. LWV-Needham invited Needham Girl Scout troops to participate in a play in which each troop would act out the key events leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment.  Prior to the event, each troop was assigned an event (or events) and created a skit, audience participation game, or other oral presentation.  The skits were presented in chronological order, so the entire play told the story of suffrage. The senior troop also included the formation of the League of Women Voters in their performance.  Seven troops participated, each with from 4 to 8 Scouts. Each participating Scout received a patch, with some extra for those who were unable to attend or did an alternative project on the subject. LWV-Needham invited the Scouts, developed the program, procured the location, designed and ordered the patches, provided refreshments for over 100 people, and even acted in an emergency skit when one troop was unable to come. 

LWV Sharon-Stoughton:  LWV Sharon-Stoughton is running a program, “Kids Voting in Sharon.” They are working with the Sharon Town Clerk, the Sharon High School Social Studies Coordinator, and staff to implement presidential voting in Sharon High School in November 2020. In order to encourage all students to vote when eligible and ease any anxiety about voting, students will experience voting in a realistic process. The students will have to check-in by precinct and then will vote on a copy of the specimen ballot. Staff will also be allowed to vote (in precinct 0). Additionally, LWV Sharon-Stoughton is purchasing books for the Sharon schools about elections and voting. 

LWV Wellesley:  LWV Wellesley will print and distribute publications related to civic education for Wellesley residents, including the “Town of Wellesley 2020 Election Candidate Handbook” and  the“Town Government Handbook 2020.”  The “Town of Wellesley 2020 Election Candidate Handbook”s designed to encourage active citizen engagement through candidacy for local elected office, with concise descriptions of the town’s organization, scope of responsibilities of all elected boards and officials, and detailed election information including state regulations governing campaigns.  The publication is updated yearly and distributed to participants attending the League’s How to Run for Public Office workshop offered each fall.  They will also provide copies to be distributed by the Town Clerk to all potential candidates. The “Town Government Handbook 2020 is a comprehensive 27-page reference distributed in print to all elected and appointed town officials.  It is essential reading for newly-elected town officials and reviews in detail the authority, organization, structure and function of Wellesley Town Government, principally based on Town Bylaws, rules and regulations and State General Laws and regulations.