Candidates parade at Beechwood

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

At noon Monday Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton were spotted in Vicksburg — at Beechwood Elementary School to be exact.

The candidates dressed in their finest suit and dress sat in a wagon pulled by Pre-K teacher Lana Claire Morgan and took a few laps around the south hall of the elementary school smiling and waving to students at the school.

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Trump and Clinton were actually impersonated by Pre-K students Owen Flowers and Kylie Poole and were led by two secret service members, Pre-K students Andrew Patten and Micheal Thomas as “Hail to the Chief” played.

This was Morgan’s third election year as a teacher, and she has taught an election unit each of those years in addition to leading a presidential parade. She said the children have found the lessons on the president very interesting, and the students were all looking forward to getting to parade through the halls.

“Last week we learned all about the election, all about the president and the whole election process,” Morgan said. “They’ve been very excited. They loved learning about democrats and republicans. They’ve been really excited to get ready for this day.”

All of the Pre-K students at Beechwood were part of the parade wearing red, white and blue construction paper headbands and waving stars and large colored cutouts of elephants and donkeys. Other students in the school lined the halls to wave and cheer for their peers’ parade.

“I was an elephant,” Addyson Hardaway said.

Morgan said the students who played the parts of Trump and Clinton were chosen to take on those roles partially based on appearance.

“For our Donald Trump and Hilary we tried to pick someone that looked a little bit like them. I’m not sure we pulled off the Trump hair, but we got as close as we could,” Morgan said.

The children also learned about where the president lives and watched a video touring the inside of the White House. Morgan’s class discussed what they would do if they ever became president.

“I would eat pizza everyday,” Analeigh Herring said.

She had some wise words for why she felt it was important to learn about the election process by explaining what she learned about the president in class.

“He takes care of all the people in the United States,” Herring said.

It is imperative to Morgan to teach these young students the importance of voting and about the democratic process so they will be ready when they are old enough to vote.

“I think it’s important for them to learn at such an early age that we have a right to vote, but it’s not just something we need to choose to do, it’s something we need to do. Learning from an early age, when your 4 you have 14 years to prepare for it, so we just want them to really understand the importance of voting. We want them to understand our country and what our country was built on. We want them to learn to respect our president,” Morgan said.