As was mentioned in an earlier post, one of the Pre-K classes in our Preschool was studying elections as one of their Reggio Emilia-inspired projects. Since then, the kids have visited a polling place during the Potomac Primary, followed the elections results and delegate counts in the newspaper, and paid a visit to Congressman Eric Cantor at the Capitol where they were treated to a full tour and an autographed copy of House Mouse, Senate Mouse.
Having no doubt learned that all politics is local, the students decided to hold their own election for president of the school. They formed political parties and nominated candidates:
The Rainbow Party–Running on a platform of get-well cards for kids who are out sick and a proposal to initiate a clean-up project at our local park.
The Pink Star Party–Running on a platform of a school-wide recycling program and new books for the library.
The Lion Party–Running on a platform of keeping the Preschool neat by evenly distributing clean-up jobs so that the burden is shared, and a new “Weekend Activity School Board” which would be a collage of what people did on the weekend.
A voter registration drive was held and all members of the Washington DCJCC Preschool community (including staff and parents) signed up to vote in the March 4 election. As the election drew near the candidates took to the streets, pressing the flesh, meeting with voters to present their platforms and ask for their support. Finally, on the same day as the close contests in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island, the polls opened at the 16th Street J (complete with “I Voted/Yo Vote” stickers). The electorate anxiously awaited the returns, and the next morning we received this email from Jill and Gary, the teachers of this extraordinary class:
The votes have been counted, each and every one. The preschool had an amazing 118 people who turned out for our Super Tuesday. It was by far the closest race that I have ever seen. While I am sure that most of you are on the edge of your seats to find out who had the most votes, our class was met with a huge obstacle that changed the whole picture with regards to a Preschool President. The Pink Star and Lion party tied with 40 votes, closely followed by the Rainbow Party with 38 votes. With a two-way tie, our class had to decide what solution they would choose. I left it completely up to them. Isabel thought that we should count again, in case we made a mistake. After we did that and still had a tie, we opened the floor back up to ideas. Adam said we should have two Presidents and everyone else should be on the Presidential Cabinet. J.T. said that we should just have three Presidents. Instantly the class all started agreeing, so I took a vote, and it was unanimous. Then we figured that since there were three people that were getting the job, we should call them something else. After further discussion we came up with “Presidential Team.” Now, that the voting is over, the hard work of fulfilling our platforms begins.
Could it be that our Q Street Preschool is ahead of the curve in figuring out how to resolve a close political contest? Remember you read it here first.