Most can recall, with the waves of nostalgia usually reserved for ’90s television and AOL profiles, the day that freshly printed Scholastic book orders came to their classrooms and the inordinate excitement that followed—so many books!
The book and magazine company announced this morning that their polls were opening for another venture into the classroom: the Scholastic Student Vote. Finally recognizing the overlooked demographic, the magazine company is attempting to turn election day into something besides a day off from school, by giving schoolchildren a chance to pick the country’s next president in a mock election.
And, if the notion of children in grades 1 through 12 across the country contemplating their civil service wasn’t endearing enough, the company also uses “Kid Reporters” to report the campaign news to the constituents.
A Scholastic website accompanying the mock election program offers answers to the important questions for elementary-school-aged political aficionados-to-be like, “What is a political convention?” (Excluding the explanation: an opportunity for Democrats to get drunk in North Carolina.) Also, the site features interactive polls like, “What do you think is the hardest thing about being president?” (The results are closely tied between “Living in the White House” and “The Power.”)
Those skeptical of the election’s reliability shouldn’t scoff at the old adage that kids can be wiser than they appear. The Scholastic student population has accurately predicted all of the election results since 1940 with two exceptions: Kennedy vs. Nixon (a close one) and Dewey vs. Truman (which even the Chicago Tribune messed up—the newspaper notoriously published the headline “Dewey Beats Truman” on the morning following the election).
So for young Democrats and Republicans itching to be involved in the democratic process, polls close October 15.
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