Harlandale ISD students let their voice be heard

In light of the 2016 presidential election, several Harlandale ISD campuses held mock presidential elections to get students excited about voting.

Stonewall Flanders Elementary counselor Joseph Manjarrez used it as an opportunity to teach students about citizenship.

“We told the kids that in order to be a good citizen they have to do three things: follow the rules of the community, donate their time to volunteering, and to vote,” Manjarrez said. “So today we gave the students an opportunity to vote as part of overall character building.”

The cafeteria was set up as a mock polling location with private voting booths. Students in pre-kinder through fifth grade were able to cast their vote for the president of the United States through iPads.  

Manjarrez hopes the students learned the importance of being a responsible citizen.

 “The goal is to teach them that in order to make their community better, they need to give back to the community,” Manjarrez said.

Rayburn Elementary students also let their voice be heard. Students casted their vote through iPads in private booths on the stage behind the curtain, while the other students watched the results live in the cafeteria.

“All the students had fun,” Rayburn Counselor Nichole Nava said. “The expressions on their faces as they were waiting in line to vote were priceless. Their discussions, comments and questions regarding voting were funny and serious.”

Rayburn Principal Faith Molina explained to each grade level that they were given the opportunity to participate in their civic duty to vote and everyone must respect each other’s different opinions.

After selecting their preferred candidate, each student received and “I Voted” sticker to wear for the day.

“We wanted students to have an idea of what it is like as an adult and what a difference each individual can make to our country,” Nava added.

For Harlandale High School Lifeskills Teacher Mark Schaub, the election was an opportunity to teach his lifeskills students about voting.

A mock polling site was set up in his classroom and his students facilitated the voting process for the school by handing out ballots.

“My goal is to get them excited about it so that maybe they might like to volunteer for the Democratic or the Republican Party,” Schaub said. “And so that when they turn 18 and they are eligible to vote, they will fill out a voter registration card and actually go out and vote for real.”


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