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'The students become the teachers' | Voter registration block party set for Tuesday

160 South Hollywood is hosting a block party aimed at teaching high school students the importance of voting. Voter registration starts that very same day.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Teaching high school students in Memphis the importance of voting is the focus of a block party scheduled Tuesday, Sept. 20.

From 3 to 5 p.m. 160 South Hollywood is hosting this block party on the same day that voter registration begins. More than 2,500 MSCS students will be eligible to vote in the November election. Voter registration ends Oct. 7. 

Credit: Memphis Shelby County Schools

The event is part of Re Imagining 901—an initiative from Memphis Shelby County Schools (MSCS). 

Former school board member and Shelby County Election Commissioner Vanecia Belser Kimbrow said that sometimes it takes events like these to get youth engaged and excited about voting. 

"Memphis’ population is terribly undercounted because our city doesn't show up to vote," Kimbrow said.

Voter registration applications will be on hand at the event as well as food and prizes. 

As a community activist that has worked toward this cause for 15 years, Kimbrow said that now, more than ever, Memphis' youth should get to the polls because "their lives are impacted" by crime and other issues that adversely affect them.

She said voting "impacts change that they want to see the community have."

"Once you inspire a child or young person to be a part of the process, they are more likely to continue to vote," Kimbrow said.

Mock voting will even take place at the event as a voter booth demonstration is scheduled. There will also be a MSCS board member "Meet & Greet."

"My goal is to inspire young people to become lifelong voters," Kimbrow said. "That means that they vote, and they inspire their children to vote or even their parents to vote—sometimes the student becomes the teacher." 

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