By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Hudson – On Feb. 26, about 20 students from the Hudson High School’s Advanced Placement (AP) government class traveled to Quinn Middle School to lead workshops for fifth- and sixth-graders that culminated with a mock election.
During three different sessions throughout the day, students led an engaging and interactive presentation depicting how the election process works. They helped to give the younger students a better understanding of many of the words used throughout the process such as caucus, primary, political party, natural citizen, republican and democrat.
“I reached out to our curriculum director who put me in touch with the middle school teachers,” said Leah Vivirito, history and AP government teacher at the high school. “We thought this would be a great opportunity for the AP Government students to teach. The objective of this workshop was to explain how the process works and enable the students to then choose whom they would like to vote for. We have already done this at the high school but it will be interesting to compare the results with the middle school students.”
The engaging, intelligent students seemed to enjoy sharing their knowledge and mentoring future high-schoolers.
“I applaud the high school for offering this class,” Vivirito said. “The high school students really enjoy the opportunity to go to the middle school. Many of them are so excited to revisit old teachers. There is an element of pride where they can showcase what they have become.”
There was a lot of discussion about what the students already know about this next election and presidential elections in general. They had the opportunity to ask questions such as “Why is there a four-year term?” “Why must you be a citizen?” and “Why do we have to elect parties?”
Through the use of contemporary celebrities like Beyoncé, Tom Brady and Harry Potter, the students brainstormed what qualities make a good president. Their list included leadership, charisma, good choices, attitude, hard work and more.
“I was so excited to see how much information these students already know,” senior Lilly Clouter said. “Their knowledge exceeded what I had expected.”
Noted fifth-grade science teacher Maggie Woodcome: “I am hoping that my students will now have a better understanding of how the election process works and they will take more of an interest in participating.”