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Schools get creative in getting out the vote

October 16, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

Schools across the district are getting into the voting spirit with campus-based campaigns  to raise awareness about Election Day and the opportunity to vote early, from Oct. 22 through Nov. 2.

Voters will not only be choosing a new president this election but will decide whether to approve HISD’s $1.89 billion bond proposition that would focus on rebuilding and modernizing the city’s high schools, as well as provide safety and technology upgrades across the district.

At Hobby Elementary School, parents and students decorated the campus in red, white and blue colors to promote voting.  Principal Stephen Gittens says the goal was to build awareness about the importance of casting a ballot.

“We’ve sent home fliers, we’ve done call-outs, we’ve shared information with our PTOs,” said Gittens, whose school enrolls  834 elementary students in southwest Houston.

Gittens is also planning  a mock election and a bulletin board that will showcase parents who vote early.

Administrators have been encouraging school leaders across the district to make the most of Election Day as a learning tool, in part because dozens of HISD schools will be used that day as polling locations. Harris County will use approximately 126 schools to accommodate voters on Election Day, giving students a first-hand look at democracy in action.

 Residents who vote early, however, will get the added convenience of being able to vote at any of 37 locations, not just their designated polling place.   

At Garden Villas Elementary, students and staff spelled out “Vote” on their fence with plastic cups, held an informational meeting on the bond proposition and even registered  15 people during a voter registration drive..

At A.A. Milne Elementary school, the principal even created an  incentive to encourage parents to vote early.

“For every parent who votes early and can bring or send in proof of early voting (your voting ticket given when you vote), your child will earn a “WE VOTED EARLY FREE DRESS PASS” that they can use to come to school out of uniform any day of their choosing,” Principal Marilene Shane wrote in a newsletter home to families.

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