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Mattapan students learn about polling on Election Day

Posted by Patrick Rosso  November 9, 2012 12:15 PM

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(Image courtesy Liana Cosgrove)


Fifth-grade student Samantha Torres interviews Young Achievers graduate and first-time voter Mynan Adams at the Morning Star Baptist Church in Mattapan.

Fifth-graders from Mattapan’s Young Achiever Science and Math Pilot School got a first-hand look at politics Tuesday as the students interviewed voters at the polls.

Speaking with residents throughout the day, the young pollsters asked those waiting in line about their voting experience, their backgrounds, and what the conditions at the polls were like, said a release from the school.

“A lot of thought went into selecting the polling sites to give the students a broad perspective of the voting experience,” Cinthia Colon, a fifth-grade teacher at Young Achievers, said in a statement. “We wanted a community-based site close to the school, a site with the opposite demographics, a neighboring town, and Downtown.”

The students visited a number of sites in and around the city including the Morning Star Baptist Church on Blue Hill Avenue, the Shuman Community Center in Newton, and Boston City Hall.

Collecting data from voters, students attempted to answer one broad question: "Is everyone included?”

At each station, students observed voters’ experience from the various languages spoken to the availability of translators and the condition of the site.

Speaking with both voters and staff, students attempted to grasp the whole voting experience from many unique perspectives.

“This exposure opens their eyes,” Colon said in a statement. “It shows students what it means to come together as a collective and make change happen. The observations they are making and questions they are asking help them examine whether America is doing enough to help all the diverse people in this country, for example, for those who have the right to vote but may not speak English.”

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Email Patrick D. Rosso, patrick.d.rosso@gmail.com. Follow him @PDRosso, or friend him on Facebook.

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