Jaindl Students 'Elect' a President

Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Jaindl Elementary School get a lesson in presidential elections -- and even get to 'vote' too.


In the end, Obama beat Romney, 191 to 110.

But in this recent "mock" election at Jaindl Elementary School, it wasn't the outcome that was important but the process, as third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at Jaindl Elementary School learned how America elects its presidents.

The cool part? The students got to "vote" using two electronic voting machines, courtesy of the Lehigh County voter registration office.

"It felt like we were like grownups," said fifth-grader Stephanie Roccoberton of Upper Macungie, who was among the students casting ballots.

Outside the classroom, in the lunchroom and the like, students got passionate about their candidates, she said.

In the classroom, the students learned the process of electing a president, the difference between the popular vote and the Electoral College and the qualifications needed to become president, said fifth-grade teacher Christie Nolan.

Instruction didn't focus on the issues, she said, though the students were made aware of the issues in this year's race, including health care, the economy and jobs. And they also learned to be respectful of each other's opinions. Parents were encouraged to discuss the election with their children.

Nolan organized a mock presidential election at Fogelsville Elementary School four years ago, when she taught there. But this was the first time students got to use actual voting machines.

"I thought it was going to be hard, but it was pretty easy," fifth-grader Imran Dharamsi of Upper Macungie said about using the machines.

Four hours of voting occurred on a Wednesday, and the students had to wait two days to hear the election results. It was announced on the school's morning newscast. Those happy with the results jumped in jubilation and cheered.

Said Nolan, "It's an experience that they'll never forget."


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