Students encourage community to vote

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Paper bag project spreads voting importance

By Kathryn Jacewicz, Staff writer

LELAND—Even though they may not be of legal voting age, fourth- and fifth-graders at Lincoln Elementary School are encouraging others to vote in the upcoming November General Election.


Fifth-grade teacher Jan Boone attended a workshop where an idea to spread a message to the community was discussed. The paper bag project used brown paper bags from a local grocery store, which students decorated with their intended message.

Boone had the idea to bring the paper bag project to Brunswick County, encouraging the community to vote in November’s election.

“We’re not endorsing anybody,” she said. “We’re endorsing everyone getting out and voting.”

Boone spoke with Harris Teeter in Leland. The store agreed to give her about 250 bags for the project. The students decorated the bags and returned them to Harris Teeter, where the store gave them to customers who requested paper bags.

Fifth-grade students from Matt Burns, Brenda Brown, Wendy Tharp and Boone’s classes and classrooms of fourth-grade teachers Semesa Goodson, Lauren Sweetwood, Lori Johnson, Alice Gardner and Nancy Lynch all decorated bags with a slogan, artwork and computer-generated words or graphics.

Many students incorporated things they learned from classroom lessons. The fourth graders are studying about North Carolina facts and history and the fifth grade is studying the three branches of government.

“They are very curious, and they are much more savvy than you’d think,” Boone said of her students’ interest in the election and politics.

Boone said even though the students cannot vote, it is important to get the word out.

Janasia, a fifth-grader, said it’s important to vote “so gas could go down and grocery stores wouldn’t be so high.”

Connor, a fifth-grader, said it’s important to vote to ensure a candidate you like is elected.

“If you vote, you have a better chance of getting that candidate,” he said.

Boone said she is proud of her students for taking such interest in the project and is impressed with their contributions to society.

“They knew as the littlest citizens that they can make a difference,” Boone said.

KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or kjacewicz@brunswickbeacon.com.