Who wants to get into politics these days? Turns out more than you might think.
Several Coast students won awards in the Secretary of State and Mississippi Department of Education’s Promote the Vote contest Thursday.
Promote the Vote is a statewide voter-education program for public school students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It awards winners in political visual arts, essay, editorial, advertising and other contests.
The non-partisan program teaches the fundamentals of democracy and encourages them to practice their civic responsibilities. Students learn about such things as voting rights, political parties and candidates, responsibilities of citizens and levels of government. Lesson plans, project ideas and activities are tied to the state’s social studies learning objectives.
Waveland Elementary School second-grader Jack DuPont earned first place in the Illustrations category for kindergarten through grade 3.
More than 200 students from Waveland Elementary competed in the illustration part of the contest, the school’s art teacher, Vale Pohl, said.
Jack’s illustration shows a boat just off the beach and the words “I Love my Mississippi Coast.”
Biloxi High School students also represented the Coast well with a sweep of the Essay category for grades 10-12. Seniors Kaitlin Rigby won first, Jacob Butera took second, Chihuana Shell came in third and Cecelia Prentiss scored honorable mention.
The 2016 program, titled “My Voice, My Vote,” highlighted the importance of voting and how one ballot truly can make a difference in an election, according to the Secretary of State’s website. The program kicked off with a mock election in October.
“Using one of their greatest assets — creativity — these talented students have demonstrated the importance of participating in the selection of our state and national leaders,” Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said in a press release. “Promote the Vote is an important program we facilitate because it encourages the next generation of citizens to become part of the election process, the bedrock of our country.”
More information about Promote the Vote and a full list of winners are available on the Secretary of State’s website, www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Promote-the-Vote.aspx.
A video of the ceremony is on the Secretary of State’s Facebook page.