PHS students attend mock election convention
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO— As the nation prepares for the upcoming 2016 presidential election, a group of six Pelham High School students are planning a school-wide election of their own.
To learn how to create a successful mock student election, those students joined history teacher April Cullom at American Village July 12 for its 2016 Student Mock Election Convention.
“They said by the end of today we would be able to take it back to our school and come up with a school-wide mock election,” Cullom said. “We are supposed to get some resources to show us.”
As students arrived, they were divided into two teams—Stars and Stripes—before attending an opening session at Liberty Hall. The session quickly escaladed to several rounds of the “Stand Up the Right to Vote” Game Show.
Tom Walker, CEO of American Village, told the students the game show would teach the students all aspects of elections and voting. King George himself hosted the show.
“At some point they are supposed to do some type of convention, almost mimicking the political party conventions we’ll be doing soon,” Cullom said.
Cullom said she found out about American Village’s program after receiving several emails from several different people related to it. After some research, she said she decided it would be a good idea.
She reached out to the SGA sponsor to see if any of the members would be interested in attending.
“Since they are student government, we thought this would be a good group to get involved doing this,” Cullom said.
Students participated in lunch, a caucus and oval office meetings at American Village before ending the event with a student convention in Liberty Hall.
Two weeks before the 2016 presidential election, on Oct. 25, schools all over the state will participate in a mock election. It will follow the same forum of an actual election process, and Cullom said it will give students an idea of what voting is like.
“It’s good because we’ve done a mock election before,” she said. “We did one back in 2012 but we teachers were more in charge of it. My goal is to really get the kids to be more active and more involved in planning, preparing and doing this.”