Monday, March 21, 2011

Name that Crane: And the Winner is...

Friday was the big day. Election Day. The nominations and campaigning were over. It was time for the kindergarteners in Ms. Breneus's class (Ward B) and Ms. Smith's class (Ward S) to cast their votes for the name of the 400-ton crane on the construction site across the street.

Clifford the Crane or The Big Giraffe--which would win?

Turnout was strong. And once the kids understood the process, they lined up to take take their turns BEHIND the green line...

...because when you vote, it's secret. You can choose whatever you want, or whoever you want, without feeling any pressure. You can tell who you voted for--or not--that's how it works.

To keep it secret, voters folded their ballots one, twice...

...and dropped them in the ballot bag.

After both classes had finished voting, Principal Brawer showed them that he stapled the Ballot Bag shut--all the way across. "I'm going to lock this in the office during lunch and recess," he said. "No one can tamper (that means 'mess with') your votes or your choice."

Finally it was time to find out who won. The two classes came together.

"Did everyone have a chance to vote?" an adult asked.

All hands shot up.

"Did you vote for the name that you really wanted?"

All heads nodded.

"Then no matter what happens, no matter what name wins, this is what we call a fair election. Everyone was able to say what they wanted and--may the best name win!"

The Ballot Bag was opened. The ballots were taken out one at a time and announced and tallied. One vote, one check mark. By the middle of the count, it seemed as if The Big Giraffe was ahead, but the grownups reminded the kids that you never know what will win until the very end.

It turns out that The Big Giraffe was the winner after all!

The kindergarteners had chosen with a vote of 22 to 14.

Most of them were happy, but some kids were sad.

A teacher reminded them that the Red Sox don't win all the time either!

They say that "time heals all wounds." On April 5th, we will be having our Crane Naming Ceremony, where that big orange beauty will get a new name right on its door. We bet everyone will be happy then.