The students of SS. Peter and Paul School in Lehighton gathered Friday for their quadrennial presidential election assembly. The assembly was a chance for students to share what they have learned about the presidential election process, and to remind each other of the importance of voting.
"We want our students to be good citizens. This is part of the learning process," said school principal Sherry Sernak. "Each class gets assigned a different part of the nomination process to study. They then give a presentation on what they've learned during the assembly."
The assembly featured songs and poems about voting, including a poem from kindergarten students that reminded the audience, "Don't forget to vote."
Students also learned about the current Republican and Democratic candidates for president and vice president. They shared drawings and information about the most well-known symbols in our country, including the American flag, the Great Seal of the United States, Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty.
Older students shared their findings about the three branches of government, and explained how the government's powers are divided between the legislative, judicial, and executive branches to ensure that no one branch of the government becomes too powerful.
Students also learned about the duties of the president, how to run for president, and the presidential nomination process.
Sernak noted that while the students are not old enough to vote in this year's national election, they did hold a mock election for president. Votes were tallied by the third-grade class, who used the election as part of their math lesson.
Students also hold annual elections for the school's student government body, which have real ramifications for the school and students. It's a chance for students to undergo the campaign and voting process and understand the importance of voting.
"It's important to vote about the issues," she added. "It shouldn't be a popularity contest."
In similar fashion, students spent classroom and assembly time discussing the current issues facing both presidential candidates, including the economy, health care, and the military.
During the mock election, students and staff voted 63-34 for Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Was this election a sign of Tuesday's election results in Pennsylvania, or even the nation? Only time will tell.
Four years ago, students and staff "elected" Republican presidential nominee John McCain during their mock election.
But whether each student's preferred candidate wins or loses, the lesson they learned on Friday will hopefully stick with them "Don't forget to vote."