Civics Essential Game Hour: libraries host fun, fact-filled evenings with trivia and prizes

“My vote makes no difference” is just one excuse that Americans use not to go to the polls. In 2011, the Pew Research Center found that 7 out of 10 Americans believe that politicians don't care what average Americans think and, once elected, don’t represent their interests. Studies show, too, that negative media coverage of the government and negative political attack ads also discourage voter participation.

Do you believe this to be true?

The hotly contested presidential election of 2000 is just one example of why your vote counts. Republican George W. Bush’s victory over Democrat Al Gore came down to the voters in just one state — Florida. After several recounts and a month-long legal battle, Bush won the state by just 537 votes, or a margin of .009 percent.

Join us to learn about voting and more during a Civics Essential Game Hour at one of the sixteen participating public libraries across Ohio. Sharpen your civics knowledge during this fun, fact-filled evening of trivia and gamification where you can test your knowledge about the basic workings of the government and the key provisions of the Constitution, among other things.

Compared to other democratic countries, America’s voter turnout for most elections is disappointing due, in part, to a lack of basic civics knowledge and misinformation. Want to brush up and get ready? Read the Ohio Civics Essential series on Soapbox Cincinnati or FreshWater Cleveland and make sure you take the quizzes. Because — did we mention — there will be prizes?

The Akron event will be held on April 18.Public libraries will host their communities where you can compete, along with your neighbors, to test your basic civics knowledge. Each Game Hour is emceed by a well-known local educator or attorney. If you love Jeopardy, trivia, or games in general, bring your friends and family for a fast-paced hour.

The event will provide a free, safe space for the community to participate in a friendly competition. Bring your mobile device to take a self-assessment survey at the start of the hour. We’ll have a mobile device station available, too, in case you forget your smart phone or tablet. At the end of the Game Hour, you’ll be able to see how your answers stack up versus other Ohioans.

Citizens who lack fundamental civic knowledge can’t “really understand what’s going on in our government,” says Carol Seubert Marx, immediate past president of the Ohio State Bar Foundation board. Ultimately, she says, the foundation hopes that greater civic knowledge will lead to greater citizen involvement across Ohio. “If you really want to have an effect (on your community), you have to know how government works.”

Ohio Civics Essential is a strategic initiative to raise the civics knowledge of Ohio adults, produced by Soapbox Cincinnati and Freshwater Cleveland and made possible with a grant from the Ohio State Bar Foundation. In addition to our volunteer emcees, library teams, editorial advisory, and staff, we’d like to recognize the following organizations who have helped make this event possible: The State Library of Ohio, Ohio Center for Law-Related Education, Cincinnati Development Fund, Capital Square Foundation, and Issue Media Group.

We look forward to seeing you soon at a library close to you. To register, click here. Come ready to play!

Register here via Eventbrite

Dayton Metro Library
3/26/2019, 6:30 p.m.
Dayton Metro Library
215 E. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402
Emcee: Christina Back, Immigration Attorney, Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County Sharonville Branch
3/28/2019, 7:00 p.m.
Sharonville Branch
10980 Thornview Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Emcee: Jim DeBrosse, author, reporter, Miami University retired professor, and Civics Essential project editor

Lebanon Public Library
4/2/2019, 6:00 p.m.
101 S. Broadway, Lebanon, OH 45036
Co-Emcees: Gail Dauber, Springboro High School Social Studies teacher and Patricia George, William Mason High School English IV teacher

SouthWest Public Libraries, Westland Area Branch
4/15/2019, 6:00 p.m.
4740 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43228
Emcee: Melissa Kendralla, Westland High School Business teacher

Green County Public Library, Xenia Community Library
4/17/2019, 6:00 p.m.
76 E. Market St., Xenia, OH 45385
Emcee: Christina Back, Immigration Attorney, Pickrel, Schaeffer & Ebeling

Akron-Summit County Public Library, Main Library
4/18/2019, time TBD
60 S. High St., Akron, OH 44326
Emcee: Terry D. Zimmerman, Esq. recent recipient of the Senior Lawyer of the Year award

Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma-Snow Branch
4/30/2019, 7:00 p.m.
2121 Snow Rd., Parma, OH 44134
Emcee: Heather Hawk Frank, St. Bridget of Kildare School, principal and American History teacher

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Austintown Library
5/7/2019, 7:00 p.m.
600 South Raccoon Road, Youngstown, OH 44515
Emcee: John T. Drummond, Austintown Fitch High School, teacher, Social Studies Department

Way Public Library
5/21/2019, 6:00 p.m.
101 E. Indiana Ave., Perrysburg, OH 43551
Emcee: Liliana G. Rossi, retired teacher, legal assistant and Ohio notary

Lorain Public Library System, Avon Branch
5/22/2019, 6:30 p.m.
37485 Harvest Dr., Avon, OH 44011
Emcee: Nik Chernushin, Brooklyn High School, Government teacher

Mentor Public Library, Main Branch
5/23/2019, 6:30 p.m.
8215 Mentor Ave., Mentor, OH 44060
Emcee: Jeffrey Brauer, Attorney at Law, Hahn Loeser

The Lane Libraries, Fairfield Lane Library
6/5/2019, 7:00 p.m.
1485 Corydale Dr., Fairfield, OH 45014
Emcee: Jim DeBrosse, author, reporter, Miami University college professor, and Civics Essential project editor

Rodman Public Library
6/11/2019, 6:30 p.m.
215 E. Broadway St., Alliance, OH 44601
Emcee: Kathleen Purdy, Marlington Local School District, retired teacher

Delaware County District Library, Delaware Main Library
6/20/2019, 7:00 p.m.
84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015
Emcee: David Hejmanowski, Delaware County Court of Common Pleas, Probate/Juvenile Division