DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Derry

March 21, 2013

Derry students learn all about how to vote

DERRY — Adults weren’t the only ones making important decisions on Town Meeting day.

Students in the Derry School District also were making some choices as part of the local voting process on March 12.

The “kids vote” project has been held for several years at Town Meeting.

Every spring when Derry hosts its town elections, students are also given an opportunity to actually come to the polling places and cast ballots for their favorite things.

This year, each school had its own ballot available at the polls. An official voting “booth” was set up for students to make their choices privately.

West Running Brook Middle School seventh-grade social studies teacher Misty Crompton staffed the student voting booth in the lobby of Calvary Bible Church where the town’s District 2 voters were casting ballots.

Students arrived there with their parents to vote.

“They are learning to participate,” Crompton said. “They are doing their civic duty.”

Sometimes throughout the year, students take on political process studies, including hosting mock elections and other projects to learn all about how the voting process works.

Being able to come to the polls to see the process up close is an added boost to the learning curve, Crompton said.

Some choices up for election this year included whether to have pizza or a barbecue at South Range Elementary, or if students should decide to host a “Pajama Day” or “Hat Day” at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School. Other school ballots dealt with cookouts and ice cream parties.

Early election tallies were giving a nod to the pajamas at Hood.

Sixth-graders Sophis Pesaturo and Cheyenne Reid both attend Hood and were leaning toward the pajamas. They came to Calvary Bible Church to cast their ballots for the favorite choice.

“It sounds like fun,” Sophia said about wearing her pajamas for an entire school day.

Once the ballots are counted, schools will know what their final decisions are and what kind of year-end parties and special activities took the top numbers.

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