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Kids and the 2012 presidential election

Kids can vote for president this year! That

Kids can vote for president this year! That is, if they do it online at or using paper ballots in the fall issues of Scholastic classroom magazines. Credit: Handout

Q. How can I get my kids interested in the presidential election?

A. Your kids can vote for president at "This is a great way to empower kids. When they have a stake in it, they tend to pay closer attention to the election," says Suzanne McCabe, editor at large for Scholastic's classroom magazines.

The student vote is a Scholastic tradition; it was launched in 1940. The kids' tally has reflected the true outcome in all but two elections: In 1948, students chose Thomas Dewey over Harry Truman; and in 1960, they selected Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy. Voters must be younger than 18. Voting ends Oct. 10, and the winning candidate is announced in mid-October. In the 2008 election, more than 250,000 kids voted.

Scholastic also has a kids' election website at scholastic .com/election that collects articles, resources, games and maps that help kids understand the electoral process. It features campaign coverage from Scholastic News Kid Reporters, more than 50 students nationwide who report for the site, examining issues that matter to children. Issues include the economy -- "Adolescents recall a time when they had more spending money, when their parents were more relaxed about going on vacation or going out to eat," McCabe says -- educational initiatives and the environment.

A fun and educational app to get kids in the presidential mood is the just-launched Basher's Presidents game app ($1.99 at the iTunes store), which helps students learn the order of the presidents and facts about each.

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