Grade 4 students at Holland Road Elementary participated in StudentVote 2017. (Healey file photo)

FLETCHERS LAKE: StudentVote helps learning the process behind voting and why it’s important. Students at Holland Road Elementary School are learning the democratic process.

The students spoke about getting the opportunity to participate and what they hope to learn from the experience for their future years when they become age eligible to vote.

“I think it’s really cool they’re letting students do it so when they’re older they know how to vote and therefore know why they should vote,” said Darby Gibbon of Wellington.

Ellen Rudderham said it’s a good chance to learn what all needs to go into making the right decision when you’re older.

“You have to wait til you’re 18 to vote, but you can know why and the process behind it through this,” she said.

She said it’s important people know how to vote before their older.

“It’s important because if you learn how to do it now, you’ll be able to do it better when you’re older,” said Rudderham.

Gibbon said voting at this young age will help them not be undecided when the time comes for them to cast their ballots.

“I think it’s cool we get to participate in the voting for our government and learn all about it,” said Gibbon.

She said she was excited to see what the final outcome—students versus real-life.

“I’m excited to see who is picked as the winner by the students,” she said.

“I think it will be neat to see the choices amongst the students who they want as a provincial government,” said Tyler Presley.

Rudderham said she hopes to learn the voting process and the platform of the candidates.

“I hope to learn about what I want to see in a person and their platforms are,” she said.

Sienna Jones, who lives in Fall River, said she wants to learn about government so in the future she won’t have a lot of questions when she goes to the real-life polls.

“I will have this experience for knowledge so I will know what to do,” she said.

Teachers Nicole LeGrow and Patricia Sangster feels StudentVote adds to the educational value, especially during an election year.

“With young voters the voting turnout has been real low, so I think it’s important that we teach them while their young so when they turn 18 and are eligible to vote they understand how the process works and how their vote really does make a difference,” said LeGrow.

“I think their level of involvement for the future will increase by having a background like this and they can form opinions of the candidates,” added Sangster. “We all learn what their platforms are and we’ve been reading the media different articles.

“The kids are learning a lot, and I think that’s important.”

Instead of just knowing a guy from seeing a sign, the students are digging a little deeper into that face on the sign at the corner, said LeGrow.

“They’re learning why they are seeing the signs, why their parents are talking about it,” she said. “Any time we can connect learning to real life and make it as meaningful as possible, then it’s beneficial.”

Results from Holland Road’s StudentVote, along with other schools participating, will be released after polls close in N.S. on May 30 at 8 p.m.

Look for a followup story after polls close on who the students at G.P. Vanier, Oldfield Consolidated, and Holland Road chose to represent them as their provincial government.