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Fairbanks kids learn the power of voting

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Posted: Monday, November 7, 2011 11:07 pm | Updated: 1:36 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — As the election season warmed up in September, kids warmed up their thinking caps, coming up with ways to encourage their peers to vote.

Every year with every election, kids in school get a chance to vote, too. Kids Voting USA is a program that helps educate students in kindergarten through 12th grade on political issues.

Though students’ votes don’t count toward the actual election, they require the students to think about current issues that affect their communities, states and country.

This year was the 20th year for Kids Voting North Alaska, and 1,349 students from 10 schools turned out to cast their ballots around Fairbanks. The turnout was good for a municipal election year, according to coordinator Maida Buckley.

“Municipal elections are notoriously low (in turnouts),” Buckley said. She said this year’s participants outnumbered the last municipal election.

The high numbers could have been partly a result of those who competed in the Kids Voting contests, which included poster designs, podcasts and written pieces based on the theme of “My Vote Has Power!”

Election day was Oct. 4, and winners of the contests were announced Nov. 1 at a school board meeting.

Poster contest winners

Kindergarten to second grade:

First— Trinity Cates from Ms. Viale’s class at Woodriver Elementary

Second — Shunia Itta from Ms. Viale’s class at Woodriver Elementary

Third — Grace Troppmann from Ms. Viale’s class at Woodriver Elementary

Third to fifth grade:

First — Jack Snow from Mrs. Ward’s class at Immaculate Conception School

Second — Kyla Steel from Mrs. Ward’s class at Immaculate Conception School

Third — Kaleigh Deleon from Mrs. Ward’s class at Immaculate Conception School

Sixth to eighth grade:

First — Rachel Bateman from Mrs. Harrod’s class at Barnette Magnet School

Second — Lauryn Harrod from Mrs. Harrod’s class at Barnette Magnet School

Third — Anna Kardash from Mrs. Harrod’s class at Barnette Magnet School

Ninth to 12th grade:

First — Kathy Ahrens from Ms. Grubis’ class at West Valley High

Podcast contest winners

First — Dolma Ombadykow from Mr. Holloway’s class at West Valley High

Second — Shannon Hammond and Jesse Zhang from Mr. Holloway’s class at West Valley High

Third — Nettie Larson from Mr. Holloway’s class at West Valley High

Writing contest winner

William Mitchell from Mr. Kennedy’s class at West Valley High.

Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.

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