© 2023 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Mock Election Helps Fenwick Elementary Students See Value In Voting

Inside the Fenwick Elementary School cafeteria, elections officials set up a table with ballots ready to hand out to the youngest of the nation’s patriots, student voters. Here the elementary children cast their ballots in a mock election, while in the nearby gym, adults are doing the real thing.

"I firmly believe that we have fought to have the right to vote and to choose our representatives,” said Dr. Tambrey Ozuna, who is the principal at Fenwick. “And I want my students to take that message with them when they get older. I want them to have that instilled in them."

At Fenwick, 400 students from pre-K to fifth grade participated in the voting process, and Ozuna has held mock elections at other campuses where she worked.

Angela Calderon greets the student voters and hands them their ballot.

"Well, it's kind of an honor to be a part of this voting because voting is important to a lot of people,” said Calderon.

"We're handing out the card so that they can check off who they want for president and stick it in the box,” said fifth grader Fernando Mares who was one of the fifth graders acting as the school’s elections officials.

First grade teacher Annette Alvarado believes voting in the cafeteria reinforces what she’s been teaching; even the smaller kids got an entire curriculum based around the election.

"We've talked a lot about them [elections] and they've already made their decisions,” Alvarado said.

Ozuna wants her children to walk away with a sense of pride and purpose in their country’s elected officials because "they start to see, hey, election's a big thing. It's important."

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.