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Parkway Students Vote for Obama

Parkway students voted in record numbers in Election 2008 in classrooms across the district.  Every student had the opportunity to participate in Kids Voting.  Kids Voting USA® is a national non-profit, nonpartisan program in which students in grades K-12 go to the polls on Election Day and cast Kids Voting ballots for the same candidates and issues as adult voters.  In the weeks leading up to the election, students studied grade-specific lessons on democracy and the electoral process and also learned to "register" to vote.  Parkway has participated in Kids Voting in the past five elections.

Out of 17,611 Parkway students, 14,444 voted…82% of Parkway students.  The students voted for Obama by 61%-35%.  In Kids Voting in the greater St. Louis area, Obama won 70%-27%.

Parkway high school students were actively involved in the election process with pre-election, Election Day and post-election activities.  Each high school provided unique opportunities for the students to become engaged in the civic right and responsibility of voting.  Central high faculty and students were encouraged to dress in politically themed costumes for a Halloween dress-up day in honor of the election.  A simulated electoral college was created at North High with each social studies class representing a different state.  Activities involving all high schools included:

2nd Annual Student Legislative Forum:  On September 8th over three hundred high school students participated in the 2nd Annual Student Legislative Forum. At the Forum students had the opportunity to meet legislatures and candidates and hear the elected officials’ position on issues important to young people.  The Forum was led by students from Central, Fern Ridge, West and South High Schools. 
Debate Watch:  The social studies departments at West and Central hosted Debate Watch parties for interested students.  Over 150 students attended the vice-presidential debate at West and over 100 students attended the presidential debate at Central.
Poll Workers:  Students from all high schools had the opportunity to work at the polls on Election Day.
Inauguration 2009:  Students from Central, North, South, and West will be traveling to Washington, D.C. in January to attend the Inauguration of the new president.

The eighteen elementary schools began preparing for Election 2008 on September 17th, Constitution Day, when most students “registered” to vote for the Kids Voting election.  Events associated with the election included “get out and vote” poster contests at McKelvey and Oakbrook.  First grade students at Bellerive decorated grocery bags with voting messages and writing “thank you” notes to voters as part of their class service project.  On November 3 River Bend had a flag ceremony and featuring grade level speakers and choir performances in honor of Election Day.  The November 3 "Monday Morning Celebration" at Carman Trails included Mayor Rick Lahr of Des Peres speaking to the kids about the importance of voting and fifth grade Reach students presented a debate with two animals for the St Louis Zoo adoptee - the African Lion and the Humboldt Penguin.  Fifth grade MOSAICS (gifted) students at Barretts participated in a presidential election wiki contest with other classrooms in Missouri featuring “mock” candidates created by students based upon student generated survey results.