By Anisa Sullivan Jimenez
At Timothy Road Elementary School, students participated in a mock Presidential election on Tues., Oct. 30 – along with millions of students nationwide through the Studies Weekly Program. Obama won with 74% of the vote, with Romney receiving 26%. The mock election is not the only way students are engaged in today’s hot topic; in social studies classes across the school, students are learning about their government and applying it in a variety of interesting ways.
“All students prepared for the election by participating in lessons that focus on civics and government, learning about both candidate’s views through our morning television broadcasts and completing a voter registration card,” explained principal Angela Hardeman. “On Oct. 30, students selected their candidate using a computerized ballot system and several of our 5th graders served as poll workers.”
After voting, students received a special “I VOTED!” sticker and the overall results were announced Wed., Oct. 31. And in the school’s Spectrum classes, students are going the extra mile in educating themselves and their fellow students about the upcoming election.
“We prepared a special election edition of our newsletter out before the schoolwide election,” said 4th grade teacher Kay Landers. “Students researched for three weeks using Time Magazine’s election web site for kids, as well as the Nickelodeon web site and others. The students are excited for the election and due to their research, they really understand each candidate’s platforms.”
The 4th grade newsletter, which goes out every few weeks, focused its election issue with articles including the candidate’s stances on taxes, education, defense, healthcare and the economy. There will also be information on the Electoral College, as well as trivia on past presidents. Each grade prepares their own newsletter for distribution.
And in Kena Worthy’s 5th grade Spectrum class, students have been following the election since September. They have studied differences in political parties and how systems vary throughout the world.
“The students have taken this issue very seriously and researched both major party candidates. After taking notes and discussing as a group, each student checked off the issues they agreed with, and announced the party they would become a part of based on the number of checks the candidates have,” said Worthy.
Students have watched campaign ads, discussed the debates and are sharing their findings on the school’s morning broadcasts on TRTV – Timothy Road Television.
“When our students connect what they’re learning in the classroom to the real world, it creates such a vibrant environment,” said Hardeman. “We believe that engaging them at this level is essential in helping them be successful adults.”