The "Buddy System"

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

For weeks, students in The Discovery Class at Aquin Catholic School have been learning about different voting laws. And now, they're presenting their research to a group of registered voters from Provena St. Joseph Adult Day Center.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to teach students about the voting system and the election and the students are providing," said Discovery class teacher Kim Ecket.

The "Get Out The Vote Program" is bridging the gap between two generations, allowing both groups to learn from each other.

"This gives them self-respect. They have a place in society to make a choice and it's valued," said Provena Program Aide Barbara Carlisle.

And after an election judge talked about the proper way to cast a ballot, the clients at Provena are armed with all the necessary information they'll need when they head to the polls. But this year, they'll be walking to the polls with a new friend, a student from Aquin.

"A lot of these people are first time voters. It makes them feel good to know a student is right behind them," said Eckert.

"I learned how to vote correctly, I've been a registered voter for 36 years," said Provena Client Joyce Stabenow.

"You feel good because you're helping them. It makes you feel good inside," said 8th grader Melissa Daniels.

"I actually feel like I'm teaching someone, rather than always being the student," said 8th Grade student Ben Welser

It's an example of a true buddy system, and although these students aren't old enough to vote yet, they're making a lasting contribution to the community. It’s a valuable and endearing lesson about the power of teamwork.


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