Copyright © 2008 by Emily Arnold McCully  


The NCBLA believes that literacy is essential to the development of responsible citizens in a democracy.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1820: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

The more education Americans have, the more likely they are to be active citizens and vote in national and local elections.  Building on the links between literacy, historical literacy, and civic engagement, here we share information that will help young people become thoughtful, engaged citizens. We also include articles and website links pertinent to presidential elections and inaugurations.

We encourage you and the young people in your life to seek legitimate news sources. Read newspapers, news magazines, and books in both traditional and electronic formats, moving beyond television sound bites and blog blurbs, seeking a variety of perspectives. As citizens, young and old, we need to make thoughtful decisions about national issues, national leadership, and our future; we can only do so if we are responsibly informed.

Race to the Ballot: The Our White House Presidential Campaign and Election Kit for Kids!
Get young people excited and engaged in the presidential election using this all-in-one resource
containing exclusive articles, activities, and discussion questions you can use at home, in the classroom,
at camp, and even on the go.

Presidential Debates: Watch the Debates with Your Kids and Teens!
by Mary Brigid Barrett

Great Presidential Inauguration Websites
compiled by Mary Brigid Barrett

The United States Constitution and Bill of Rights: Educational Resources

Civic Education Websites

Links for National Political Parties

I Pledge Allegiance: Classroom Kit On Becoming an American Citizen
by Helen Kampion

Who Gets to Vote?
by Geri Zabela Eddins

Get Out the Vote Websites!

Getting the Votes and Getting Elected: The Popular Vote vs. The Electoral College
by Geri Zabela Eddins

Help Wanted: President of the United States
by Geri Zabela Eddins

Persuading the People: Campaigning for President
by Geri Zabela Eddins

From Buttons to Pins – Campaign Tokens Evolve
by Geri Zabela Eddins

Choosing Sides: The Rise of Party Politics
by Geri Zabela Eddins
Both George Washington and John Adams despised the idea of political parties, but our two-party system took root during Washington’s administration anyway.

Star-Spangled Presidents
by Helen Kampion 

The Resolute Desk: A Gift of Peace
by Mary Rattray 

A Heartbeat Away: The Story of Presidential and Vice Presidential Succession
by Geri Zabela Eddins
Nine vice presidents have ascended to the presidency following a president’s death or resignation. Find out how presidential succession and the vice president’s influence have unfolded since Vice President John Tyler set the precedent for orderly presidential succession.

The Our White House Inauguration Celebration Kit for Kids!
This all-in-one resource contains exclusive articles, activities, games, and discussion questions you can use at home, in the classroom, and at community meetings.


Knock, Knock! Whoooo's There? Spooky Stories from Children of the White House
by Renee’ Critcher Lyons
Delight in stories of frightful and fun ghost encounters experienced by children in the White House!

Grand Champions of the White House
by Renee’ Critcher Lyons
Christmas tree farmers across America compete to grow the “Grand Champion” to be selected to adorn the White House each holiday season.

Our National Christmas Tree
by Cheli Mennella
Each December the National Christmas Tree is dressed in holiday splendor as a beacon of beauty and brilliance.