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Head O’Meadow Students Vote For Their Books



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Lunch time on April 22 at Head O’Meadow Elementary saw waves of single file lines of students making their way into the library to cast their votes for the annual “Vote for Books” event.

Intended to serve a double purpose of giving students a voice over what books are added to the library shelves and to raise awareness for the town and schools budget referendum which took place the day after, the event asks students to vote on prospective additions to the school library.

“This is something that has been going on for a long time, before I was even here,” Head O’Meadow Librarian Beth Murphy told The Newtown Bee. “We do it every year, right before the referendum, so that hopefully the kids go home today and say ‘I voted at school today’ and that triggers something in the adult at home to go ‘Oh yeah, I was supposed to vote tomorrow.’”

According to her, she starts the process by choosing groups of books that students would like to see purchased for the library, and the PTA provides funding sufficient to purchase one of the candidate book groupings. It’s up to the students’ votes to decide which group gets the final approval.

“The PTA gives us $400,” she explained, “and they will buy us whichever group wins.”

Murphy described the student voters as excited to get the chance to participate in a mock election process, complete with real ballots and a fully operational town voting machine to count up the results.

Registrar of Voters Erica Canfield argued that the process “reminds people to vote.”

“The kids go home and they talk about what they did during the day,” she explained on April 22. “It reminds them to vote because the referendum is tomorrow.”

According to her, the budget referendum saw a remarkably low turnout of around 7% last year, and efforts such as Vote for Books serve the function of trying to increase voter participation.


Reporter Owen Tanzer can be reached at owen@thebee.com.

Head O’Meadow Librarian Beth Murphy assists the students in completing the voting process during the school's annual Vote For Books on April 23. —Bee Photos, Tanzer
The ballot used by the young students when casting their vote for the book groups. —Bee Photos, Tanzer
Registrar of Voters Erica Canfield (left) and Jennifer Garbus facilitate the voting process with the help of a real town voting machine. —Bee Photo, Tanzer
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