On Monday morning the Children’s Museum played host to a mayoral debate attended by 11 candidates and more than 100 Grade 5 and 6 students.
Through the “My Voice Counts” educational program, students from public schools around London are invited to the museum to learn more about the upcoming election. Monday’s debate marked the start of the two week program which will include ward debates.
Executive Director of the Children’s Museum Amanda Conlon says they tested the idea leading up to the 2010 election and decided to do it again.
“The Children’s Museum is all about hands-on opportunities to learn and different ways to learn,” says Conlon. “So what better way to engage students in local government than to put them in front of candidates, asking questions and actively participate in the municipal election.”
Some students were able to pick a favourite candidate based on what they stood for. Grade 6 student Jalyn says mayoral candidate Jim Kogelheide impressed her because of his stance on the environment.
“I love flowers and trees. I’m one for climbing trees,” she said.
However, other students, like grade 5 student Nicholas says it’s tough to pick a favourite.
“All those people want to be mayor, and they’re trying to make them vote for them, but only one person can win,” he says.
The full schedule for the all-candidate debates can be found on the Children’s Museum website.
Candidates from Ward 6 and 13 will debate Tuesday.