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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Learning by voting: LCS students cast ballots

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First grader Sarah Vacura slips her ballot into the voting box during Klukhohn Elementary's General Election Tuesday. Kindergarten through fifth graders voted on who they thought should be the next President of the United States.
Le Mars Community Schools elementary students cast votes in their own mock General Elections Tuesday.

Students at Kluckhohn, Clark and Franklin elementaries voted for who they thought should be the next United States president.

At Kluckhohn Elementary, children stood in line to cast their ballot in the voting area, which included a voting booth and ballot box.

First grader Rejeana Smith fills out her ballot in a voting booth at Kluckhohn Elementary during the school's mock presidential election Tuesday. Students at all three Le Mars Community elementary schools voted in school presidential elections Tuesday.
While waiting his turn, kindergartner Aaron Lee explained why students were voting Tuesday.

"After four years have passed, it's time to get a new president," Lee said.

Another boy waiting in line said he was going to vote for presidential candidate Mitt Romney because "he will lower taxes."

Before voting, Kluckhohn students gave their name to a parent volunteer, who checked them in just like if they were adults voting at the polls.

Peggy McAllister, Title 1 reading teacher in charge of the school election, said she wanted the students' election to be like the real one.

She and others at Kluckhohn agreed it was important to learn about the election.

"It's a big part of what's been going on the last several months," McAllister said. "It's a good way to expose them to the election."

She added that keeping up with current events is something teachers try to bring into the classroom regularly.

For example, fourth grade social studies teacher Sandy Small talked with her students about the election process for the last couple weeks.

Students discussed information such as requirements to be a registered voter, the electoral college and political parties, Small said.

"We talked about the voting process in general," she added.

Small said she thought the presidential election was a great current event for students in a social studies class to learn about.

"They surprised me with what they knew about the election," she said.

Chris Wilhelm, a Kluckhohn parent volunteer helping Tuesday, said her fourth grade daughter, Cadyn, had been talking about the election for several weeks.

"She's been excited about it for a while," Wilhelm said.

Wilhelm said she thinks involving students in the voting process is important.

"It really keeps kids aware of what happens in the world," Wilhelm said. "It does mean a discussion at home."

It wasn't only fourth graders who learned about the voting process prior to Tuesday's school election.

As he waited in line to cast his ballot, third grader Tyler Iverson knew exactly what Tuesday's election was about.

"Today they are going to announce who the president will be," Iverson said.

After the votes were tallied Tuesday, the results at the three elementaries were:

* Kluckhohn: Romney 228 votes; President Barack Obama 144 votes

* Franklin: Romney 147 votes; Obama 100 votes

* Clark: Obama 148 votes; Romney 84 votes.

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