Saturday, November 12, 2016

Cats Win in a Landslide in West Pottsgrove Vote

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by West Pottsgrove Elementary School.

West Pottsgrove Elementary School found a non-controversial way to teach students about the election -- students voted on whether dogs or cats make better pets.

"The staff at West felt strongly that we wanted to create a meaningful experience for the students surrounding the election without getting into some of the more complicated, adult themes surrounding the presidential candidates," Principal Terri Koehler wrote in a press release.

The polling place at West Pottsgrove Elementary School.
"We wanted to focus on the election and voting process with the children, so we decided to vote on whether cats or dogs made better pets," she wrote.  

A mock debate with staff members arguing their points on cats versus dogs was staged and videoed so the teachers could show it to the students in the classroom prior to the election.  

Staff created voting booths and in the video after the debate explained to the children how they would be voting. 

Many staff members posted signs around the school encouraging the vote for their favorite pet. 

The custodians even got into the fun.  Mrs. Thrasher could even be seen working in the building with a sandwich board on, declaring her support for cats.

A West Pottsgrove student casts her vote
during the school's pet election.
 Many students also made signs declaring their allegiance to one pet or the other. 

On Election Day, staff and students alike could be seen showing their support via signs, t-shirts and posters around the building. 

Each class visiting the polling place where staff and students cast their votes.  The children also created voter registration cards to present at the polls.  Votes were cast and placed in a ballot box. 

Curtains were provided so votes could be cast in private on a simple ballot provided to each voter.  Each voter also received an “I voted” sticker indicating their participation in the election.

At the end of the day, dogs were the overwhelming favorite winning in a landslide of 194 votes to 92 votes for cats.

It wasn’t 270 electoral votes and there was no national significance in our election, but we were able to provide a fun, informative and stress free way to learn about the election and the voting process that we are hopeful our students will carry with them until they are 18 and ready to fully participate in the voting process. 

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