DeLisle students get into spirit of election

DeLisle Elementary School fourth-graders are putting democracy into action with a mock election for mayor.

Students running for mayor will work on campaign slogans, speeches and posters in preparation for Election Day on Friday, said fourth-grade teacher Ashley Patterson.

"We are talking about the national election in class," Patterson said.

On April 6, Harrison County Circuit Clerk Connie Ladner and her office spoke to an assembly of fourth-graders about voting and registering to vote when old enough. They showed the students ballots.

Before the Mississippi primary in March, Ladner spoke with area high school students about the importance of voting.

"It is important to involve students at an early age," she said. "Several students knew about voting because they go to the polling places with their parents."

Patterson said this is the second year she's held mock elections, although last year the students only made speeches.

This year, however, the candidates are going all-out with slogans, posters and campaign speeches. Other students will help run the campaigns. On Thursday, speech day, the students are to "dress to impress," Patterson said.

Ladner's office has furnished ballots for the mock election.

Patterson said she got the idea online from other teachers.

Ladner said she followed elections closely with her father when she was a child. "I want to pass that along and help students," she said.