Election Fever at LWALawrence Woodmere Academy used this year's historic presidential race as a springboard for education. Grades Pre-K through 12 participated in a mock election on November 3, and declared Sentator Obama as the winner.
"LWA has a history of graduating socially responsible citizens, and this mock election is only one example of everything we do to teach them about the weight of their decisions on the world at large and ensure their participation in democracy," Donna Linton, Middle School Director, said.
Eighty-one percent of Lower School students voted for Obama and eighteen percent for McCain; sixty-eight percent of Middle School students voted for Obama and fifteen percent for McCain; and seventy-one percent of Upper School students voted for Obama and twelve percent for McCain.
In addition to correctly predicting the President Elect on November 3, students also enjoyed a presentation by The Improv School. The students learned about the election process from the primaries and national conventions to the Electoral College and inauguration day through improvisation.
The improvisers acted as characters selected by the audience, and acted out different events in the election process. Lower School students decided that President Kennedy and President Lincoln should dance, and Middle School students decided to find out what would happen if Elmo and a Power Ranger ran for office.
Lower School students wrote letters to Obama on Wednesday, after the election. Andrew Feldman, a student in first grade, wrote, "Dear President Obama, Me and my sister are glad you are the president. She called me at 11:30 last night and said 'OBAMA WON!!!' So that's how you know we're happy. Love, Andrew."
The seventh grade social studies class also participated in the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) Mock Election, which predicted the President Elect as Obama. This was the organization's largest mock election for students, and featured races for President and House of Representatives as well as 11 gubernatorial and 33 U.S. Senate races.
Everyone in the Upper School benefited from the mock debates organized by Alex Dillon, Upper School history teacher and yearbook advisor. The first debate was between Nkwa Asonye speaking for the Obama campaign and Sakai Majkia speaking for the McCain campaign. They discussed foreign-policy issues and answered questions such as "What should our country's long-term policy be towards the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and towards the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan?"
The second debate was between Michael Grasberg as Barack Obama, Sloan Millman as John McCain, and Gayle Kent as Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party. They were asked for their views on how to improve American education, what to do about the healthcare-coverage crisis, and how to change America's tax policy. Gayle Kent emphasized that "voting for a third-party candidate is not throwing away your vote."