Program Updates

Every Vote Counts


Our American Voice® students at Heritage Middle School in Berwyn are concerned about the upcoming presidential election and their local community elections as well!

The OAV students know that their school district, SBD100, is discussing big changes. In the OAV program, these students are exploring the rights and responsibilities of active citizenship. And collectively, they understand the importance of members of the local  community voting on referendums that could change the district’s schools in their upcoming future.

These OAV students wanted to make sure all Berwyn community members were registered to vote for this upcoming election day.

Working with the City Council of Berwyn, their school board and faculty members throughout the district , the OAV students lead a drive “to get the word out”.


Their voter registration event at the school district board meeting brought in 10 community members who are now ready to participate in their local government! Every vote counts is more than a slogan for these citizens-in-formation of the 21st Century.




About the author

John Fontanetta

John Fontanetta

John Fontanetta devoted 27 years to teaching American history, world history and American civics at the elementary and middle school level. He mentored dozens of students who have gone on to become successful teachers. John left the classroom to become an assistant principal at Heritage Middle School and then served for 11years as principal at Piper Elementary School in Berwyn, Illinois. Under John’s leadership, Piper became a 1:1 digital school for all students. Piper also was recognized as a Star PBIS school in Illinois.
Upon retirement, John joined the Barat Education Foundation and is now Program Director of the Our American Voice ® civic engagement program. He also provides Teaching with Primary Sources training for teachers as a professional development provider with the Library of Congress.

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