Every vote counts – especially at Sewell Elementary School, where students from all six grades cast their votes for the next president as part of KidsVotingAZ. This is the third straight election year in which Sewell has participated in the event, dating back to 2008.
KidsVotingAZ is a division of KidsVotingUSA, which is defined as a nonpartisan, grassroots-driven voter education program committed to creating lifelong voting habits in children, increasing family communication about citizenship, and encouraging greater adult voter turnout.
"This is an authentic opportunity for [our students] to work in social studies and action as part of our government," principal Robert Jewett explained. "The discussions the students had were reflective of what they think is important and their prospective."
Students from 5th grade all the way down to kindergarten voted on the next president, U.S. senator in Arizona, whether to retain a judge and also on a proposition to increase minimum wage.
"It's never too early to learn about the process," stated Jihane Rohrbacker, a parent volunteer who organized the vote. "It's something we don't want the kids to take for granted."
The event was bookended by civic lessons at all grade levels. At the 4th grade level, students learned about requirements to be eligible to run for president, as well has the role the president has in the White House and why the president is so important.
"Maybe someone who wants to be president has an idea that other presidents haven't had yet," mentioned Victoria, who voted on a laptop in Mr. Waugaman's 4th grade class.
Victoria's classmate Raul added, "[voting gives] the power and the responsibility to the upcoming generations of presidents.
The entire school was excited to participate, and anxious to hear the results.
Raul put it best, "It's not usual that kids vote, so that was fun for me."