With Stoughton schools closed on Tuesday for Election Day, the entire student body at the O'Donnell Middle School took part in a mock presidential election Monday, Nov. 5 during the school day.
When the voted were tallied, OMS students overwhelmingly backed the reelection of President Obama (70.1 percent to 29.9 percent), with 619 of the 883 students voting for the Democratic Nominee, Barack Obama. The remaining 264 voted for Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee.
OMS students voted by precincts (their grades) in the school's media center, with students voting during their social studies class. The polls were manned by students in Ms. Murphy's and Mrs. Wasik's classes. Before the students left at the end of the day, the votes were counted and the election results were announced.
"The kids get to go through the entire voting process from checking in, voting to checking out. It shows them how it all works," 8th grade social studies teacher Dan Mark said of the mock vote. Mark added that 8th grade students learn about the Constitution and cover the voting process extensively in their social studies classes.
OMS Principal Matt Colantonio added: "The OMS mock presidential election served two important purposes. First, it was a promotion for the town wide Kids Voting program to be held [Tuesday] during the real election. By casting their votes [Monday] in school, students were encouraged to go to the polls with their parents [Tuesday]."
"Second," he continued, "this cross-curricular activity exposed students to the democratic process that is so central to the American experience. All Social Studies classes came down to vote by precinct in a genuine, experiential learning activity. Students were able to feel the experience of voting that they have been learning about, especially our eighth grade students who are studying US Government and Civics this year.
"Mrs. Wasik was able to tally the votes by the end of the school day and the election results were announced a in a live broadcast in every classroom just before dismissal. Such experiential learning activities give OMS students a sense of value and meaning when studying what makes a democracy work."
As Colantonio referenced, OMS students, along with all Stoughton students grades K-12, will get a chance to vote again on Election Day, Nov. 6, as part of Kids Voting Stoughton, which is held from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. at their parent's polling location (click here for a list of polling locations). Students will be able to vote for president, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative in Congress, state senator and state representative in Kids Voting.
Take a look at pictures from the OMS mock election (courtesy of Kathleen Wasik) in the media gallery of this article. Click here to see the OMS Knightly News announcement of the election results.