HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Departments of State and Education announced that 42 high schools in the commonwealth won Governor’s Civic Engagement Awards (GCEA) for registering to vote 4,035 eligible students in the 2019-20 school year. Nearly 160 schools participated in the program.
The GCEA program encourages Pennsylvania high school students to participate in elections by voting, organizing voter registration drives and volunteering as poll workers. Students are eligible to register if they are 18 years of age or will turn 18 on or before the date of the next primary, special, municipal or general election.
“Congratulations to the schools and individual students who won this prestigious award. By engaging and registering our youngest eligible voters, they are strengthening the future of our democracy,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “I am very pleased to see the growing popularity of this 3-year-old program that encourages peer-to-peer civic education and participation as poll workers and voters.”
During this school year, which was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2 ½ times more schools participated and nearly twice as many schools won awards than last year.
In the 2018-19 school year, 63 high schools participated in the GCEA program, 23 schools won awards, and 3,019 eligible students were registered to vote. In the first year of the program, 16 high schools earned awards and 2,955 eligible students were registered to vote.
“Pennsylvania students are civic-minded and care about the future of their communities,” Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera said. “Registering to vote is a critical step to having their voices heard, and I’m proud that so many students are prepared to exercise their right to vote.”
This year’s 42 winning schools are in 23 counties across the commonwealth, plus one statewide charter school. PA Virtual Charter School is the first virtual school to earn a GCEA award.
Twenty-four schools earned Gold Level Awards for registering to vote at least 85 percent of their eligible students. Three schools won the Gold Level Award for the third year in a row: Carlisle High School in Cumberland County and Northwest Area Junior/Senior High School and Wyoming Valley West High School in Luzerne County.
Eighteen schools earned Silver Level Awards for registering to vote between 65 percent and 84 percent of their eligible students.
The winning schools are listed by county below:
|Allegheny||Brentwood High School||Gold|
|Allegheny||City Charter High School||Silver|
|Allegheny||Deer Lakes High School||Silver|
|Allegheny||Elizabeth Forward High School||Silver|
|Armstrong||Leechburg Middle/Senior High School||Gold|
|Berks||Conrad Weiser High School||Gold|
|Bucks||Morrisville High School||Silver|
|Cambria||Westmont Hilltop Junior/Senior High School||Silver|
|Chester||Conestoga High School||Silver|
|Chester||Downingtown STEM Academy||Silver|
|Cumberland||Carlisle High School||Gold|
|Cumberland||Boiling Springs High School||Silver|
|Delaware||Haverford High School||Gold|
|Delaware||The Academy of Notre Dame de Namur||Gold|
|Erie||North East High School||Silver|
|Franklin||Fannett-Metal High School||Gold|
|Jefferson/Elk||Brockway Area Junior/Senior High School||Gold|
|Lancaster||Garden Spot High School||Silver|
|Lawrence||Union Area High School||Gold|
|Lehigh||Building 21 Allentown||Gold|
|Luzerne||Northwest Area Junior/Senior High School||Gold|
|Luzerne||Wyoming Valley West High School||Gold|
|Luzerne||Dallas High School||Silver|
|Luzerne||Elmer L. Meyers Junior/Senior High School||Silver|
|Lycoming||South Williamsport Area High School||Gold|
|Mercer||Greenville Junior/Senior High School||Gold|
|Mercer||Sharpsville Area High School||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Central High School||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Friends Select School||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Girard Academic Music Program||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Murrell Dobbins CTE High School||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Parkway Northwest High School for Peace & Social Justice||Gold|
|Philadelphia||Bodine High School for International Affairs||Silver|
|Venango||Cranberry Area Junior/Senior High School||Gold|
|Washington||Trinity High School||Silver|
|Westmoreland||Mt. Pleasant Area Junior/Senior High School||Gold|
|Westmoreland||Franklin Regional High School||Silver|
|Westmoreland/Armstrong||Kiski Area High School||Silver|
|Statewide||PA Virtual Charter School||Silver|
Regional recognition events for the winners were cancelled due to the COVID-19 emergency. Instead, individual and school winners will receive their awards in the mail.
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