Potholes and health care among issues that garnered attention at Brookland
Local boy comes home and launches event to raise money for local dance venues.
Potholes, poverty and health care were all topics of discussion Monday at Brookland Elementary School when students took part in a “parallel election” as part of the Student Vote program.
A day ahead of the provincial election, Neeta Kumar-Britten’s Grade 5 classroom was filled with children talking politics and discussing their favourite candidates.
Some students who voted shared the frustrations of adults who will be going to the polls today.
“They are closing down the emergency rooms. The Cape Breton Regional (Hospital) can’t take so much…” said third grader Logan Daye.
Emma Cruickshank, who’s in Grade 5, said infrastructure is a problem she would like to see solved.
“I don’t like the holes on the roads — potholes. They’re so bumpy. When we’re in my car, it scares my dog.”
Cruickshank added she voted for (NDP candidate in Sydney-Whitney Pier) Madonna Doucette because “she makes a
lot of good points.”
For the last month, teachers have been educating the children on topics like: provincial parties and their leaders, candidates in their ridings and what exactly voting means in a democracy.
Kumar-Britten spearheaded the idea to have a parallel election at the elementary school.
She has been involved with the Student Vote program for almost 15 years. The national program aims to teach students about how voting works by giving them hands-on experience
casting their own ballots. Kumar-Britten said she’s already seen the positive effect it has on the students.
“What has been the best part of the program is the conversations in the classroom and the conversations the kid’s have at home… about elections and about democracy.”
Kumar-Britten’s Grade 5s are
heavily involved in the process. Their classroom was designated as the official polling station. Students like Matthew Shimon had jobs to keep things running smoothly.
“Some people count ballots, some people cross off names and some guard the votes so people won’t look at them,” said Shimon.
The students at Brookland
Elementary will be among more than three million children and youth who have taken part in the Student Voting program since its inception in 2003.
The program has been expanding nationally since its start. The last Student Vote program in 2015 had a total of 7,000 participants — the most in its history.
Brookland Elementary students will get the results of their parallel election later today.
Three students get ready to drop their ballots into the voting box at Brookland Elementary School in Sydney as part of the Student Vote program.