Meet the voters of tomorrow

This dynamic group of Grade 5 and 6 students at Rosenfeld Elementary School held a Student Vote Election that coincided with Canada's National Election on Oct. 21. Lori Penner/RED RIVER VALLEY

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Last week, I had the privilege to make a presentation to a group of amazing students at Rosenfeld Elementary School.
They invited me to share a bit about my career as a news editor, but what they really wanted to learn about was the role of the media in the political process.
So I shared as best as I could how the task of the media during an election is to raise awareness of each candidate’s platform regarding policies and issues, and to hold our representatives accountable.
But they were way ahead of me. I don’t recall knowing as much about the electoral process as these kids do back when I was in middle school.
This group of astute Grade 5 and 6 students actually participated in a Student Vote Election, coinciding with Canada’s national election on Oct. 21.
The class was divided into five committees: Communication, Events, Education, Day of Operations, and Media and Community.
Each team had certain responsibilities they needed to complete leading up to and after the election. Students created posters to educate and also to communicate with the rest of the school, keeping them up to speed with what was happening and where they could take part. Announcements were made, along with presentations to younger grades, and guest speakers were invited to speak to the class.
A newsletter was created, information sessions about each of the candidates were held and even voter ID’s were created and given to each student to show on Election Day.
And then, all the students in the K-6 school got to cast their own votes.
The final Rosenfeld School results? Candace Bergen’s Conservatives received a minority win and the Liberals had the least amount of votes.
Teacher Delicia Hildebrand says she is very proud of the group and the way they were able to come together and collaborate with one another so well.
“The Student Vote Election was an authentic project that allowed students to connect classroom skills with current issues outside the classroom. I saw strong leadership skills in some students and the project challenged others to stay focused and put in the effort for success.”
She added that the class was quite engaged throughout the whole project. “I am curious to see how this project will affect their participation in future elections when they are of voting age.”