East Meadow students in Lisa Molloy and Kristi DeLace’s third-grade classes at Parkway Elementary School learned about the democratic process in a social studies unit, which focused on the electoral versus the popular vote, the definition of a delegate and the process by which adults cast official ballots. Each student was also assigned a state and asked to research the number of delegates and points of interest to be included on a colorful poster.
     
The third graders newly acquired knowledge was then applied to the election of the class representatives during a mock election. Brian Surless and Stephanie Giles, the Republican candidates, were seeking the position of class president and vice president against Democratic candidates Daniel Burnside and Jake Barker. Prior to Election Day, the candidates delivered speeches to their peers and participated in a debate on topics including anti-bullying, school lunches, academic assessments and school beautification.
    
The democratic process was then put into practice as each student delegate held up his or her state poster and proclaimed their state’s number of electoral votes and the Democratic or Republican candidate who would receive their vote. With a blue or red crayon, the delegate then colored in his or her state on a large map placed on the white board. The students were also asked to cast their ballots in a popular vote.  
     
“Remember to vote for who you think is best for the class,” Ms. Molloy told the students. “It’s a candidate’s ideas that are important.”
     
Republicans Brian Surless and running mate Stephanie Giles were elected President and Vice President of their class, having acquired 321 electoral votes, while Democrats Daniel Burnside and Jake Barker received 217 electoral votes. The two winners also received a 22-16 victory in the popular vote.
     
Not only did the class election teach students about the democratic process, it also honed their research and geography skills.