St. Marys students learn about the election and then have their own mock election.
"We want to raise an awareness of what their responsibility and rights are as citizens and so we bring that down to their level," explains organizer of the mock election and third grade teacher, Diana Lewis.
Students have been learning about elections, candidates and voting this entire election season."Well we've learned about Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney and the people who are running for Governor and we've learned a bunch of facts and new words," says one St. Marys Student.
"...Independence and all kinds of vocabulary that goes with the election," continues another. "...Like ballot and my job, clerk and commissioner, and candidates," says another.
And now they put their knowledge to work. Each student and teacher had to register, check in, and wait their turn for a voting booth. Students ran the entire mock election with each having their own jobs. "We're clerks, she's checking off the name and I'm giving them the official ballot," says one third grader while working. While another describers her job, "I'm commissioner I take people over to tell them to go behind a curtain and tell them where the pencils are."
But it's not just for the students but also the community as well. "So just a lot of different activities to try and get them excited and their parents excited about voting because a lot of kids have gone home and told their parents this is what I'm going to vote for or this is what we're doing," says Lewis.
"I had talked to them about different facts and different things about the President and that I was going to be a clerk and they said that was really cool because when they were little they didn't get to to this kind of stuff," says one 4th grader.
The students put in their vote for president and West Virginia Governor. In the end students submit their ballot. All precincts, or grades in this case, were counted. "Because we want them to realize in the actual voting world, their vote counts."
Students were also taught the importance of privacy and why they're allowed to keep their vote a secret.