Youth engage in mock vote

Students in Leon County Public Schools will participate in a mock presidential election where they will vote for their favorite candidate.

Through the Kids Voting Leon County program, students will take part in the hands-on experience. Precincts, ballots, voter registration cards and even “I voted” stickers will be a part of the election.

Cathy Schoepfer, a teacher at Deerlake Middle School and the Civic Coordinator for Leon County Schools, said provided materials by KVLC will create a “real” experience for the students.

“When you give students an opportunity to experience what it would be like to vote, then when they get older it won’t be something new or unmarked territory,” Schroepfer said. “Not to mention, the students will understand the importance of being an active citizen.”

She said students will be able to vote for a presumptive presidential ticket and a county commissioner at large. They will also vote on a new official bird for Florida.

Schroepfer also said the students are enthusiastic about being involved in class discussions about the next president and even the local elections.

“My students can barely get through the morning announcements without conversing with their peers about the presidential debates,” she said.

Due to the election, textbooks are rarely used and assignments are more hands-on.

An activity called “Invaders”, allows students to choose five amendments to keep if the country was invaded. Schroepfer said the lesson allows a student to see the importance of amendments.

Lizzy Kelley, the designer and layout coordinator for the Kids Voting in Leon County Web site said the initiative has been useful and successful.

“This project has proven to be effective in the classrooms and the teachers feedback just shows that hands-on experience is always the best way to learn,” she said.