Holy Cross Catholic Elementary School in Sault Ste. Marie is just one of a number of schools in the HSCDSB participating in the Student Vote Canada 2019.
The initiative, created by Elections Canada and utilized by schools, includes fourteen lessons pertaining to the electoral process. Some of the lessons describe the levels of government, the voting process and riding structures.
“The role of government and citizenship is part of the Grade 5 social studies curriculum. Having a federal election to learn about is a fantastic thing because it blends right in with the curriculum expectations,” said Grade 5 Teacher, Lisa Roy.
After going through the lessons provided by Student Vote Canada the Grade 5 students set up a ‘polling station’ in the school which allows students from Grade 4 to Grade 8 to vote for the candidate of their choice in the riding they are situated in.
Kade, one of the Grade 5 students involved in setting up the Holy Cross polling station, says he’s learned why being part of the electoral process in important.
“I learned that it’s important to vote because we want people to help out in Canada, our province and the city. I also learned that sometimes voting is tough because you have different parties and you can only choose one.”
One participant in the student vote, Elliana, a Grade 7 student says she has learned a lot in the past few weeks.
“I learned about the process of how the election goes on and about the political parties and what they stand for.”
“I feel that it’s really important for people our age to vote so we get a say in our own sort of way even though we’re not voting for the actual election. I feel that voting when we’re older will be easier for us because of what we’ve learned,” added Elliana.
Holy Cross held its vote today, the last day of National Student Vote Week. Just like a real election results of their vote cannot be released until after the actual election this Monday.
“That’s a very interesting component of this exercise because the students are excited to see who wins,” said Roy.
It’s expected that more than a million students across the country will participate in Student Vote Canada 2019.