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Clam chowder wins Needham school's election for state dish

Posted by Laura Franzini  November 5, 2012 01:34 PM

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On Monday morning, Massachusetts moved a step closer toward naming an official state dish.

Second graders at St. Joseph Elementary in Needham participated in a mock election between clam chowder and Boston baked beans. Clam chowder won by 11 votes, earning 35 to the baked beans' 24, according to principal Charlotte Kelly.

"I was surprised baked beans got that many votes from eight-year-olds," Kelly said after the results had been announced.

St. Joseph's three second-grade teachers are planning a field trip to the state legislature in an attempt to make the winner official.

The election was held as part of the school's second-grade social studies curriculum, in which students are learning about the importance of symbols throughout the nation's culture, including the unique symbols of all 50 states.

Since the students discovered that Massachusetts has no official state dish, the teachers came up with the idea for an election in time with the country's national election on Tuesday.

"This brings [government elections] down to their level," Kelly said on Friday.

Kelly said St. Joseph will also host a school-wide mock presidential election on Tuesday.

Laura Franzini can be reached at laura.franzini@globe.com.

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