By Karen Price, LWV Needham
The League of Women Voters of Needham at Needham High School Club was conceived shortly after LWVUS, followed by LWVMA, announced there would be no per-member-payments for student members. In the summer of 2018, the LWV Needham board began exploring the possibility of engaging a group of high school students. We were lucky when our scholarship winner that year recommended his younger sister!
One of our members, a Needham High social studies teacher, agreed to be the faculty advisor, and a group of five, later nine, sophomore girls initiated and joined the club and the League.
One of the club’s first activities was speaking at the LWV Needham Ballot Question Forum in the fall of 2018. Four students represented the two sides of Questions 2 and 3. They spoke to the reasons for voting yes or no and answered questions from the audience.
The club’s signature project, still ongoing, is compiling “birthday bags” for 18-year-olds at Needham High. The bags contain materials encouraging voting and civic engagement, including a letter from a community member on the importance of voting, mini-constitutions, information on registering to vote and voting, and patriotic-themed knick-knacks and candy. Club members recently met to decorate and fill the bags, and are distributing them to 70 students who signed up to receive bags this year. Next year the bags will be distributed throughout the year.
Student members also attended the LWV Needham Winter Meet-Up and assisted at the Needham Civics Bee. They meet regularly and are developing their own programs, as well as working with LWV Needham on special projects.
If you are interested in discussing starting a local high school League club, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.