One of the goals that Colegio Bethel has is to educate children who will become good citizens. One of the ways the school teaches and implements these values is through the election of Bethel Princess. She embodies all the good qualities that a good student should have. For over two weeks from the time of the presentation of candidates to the voting day, the candidates and their classes campaign to convince the student body to vote for them.
Among the rules that the students have during this special campaign time are: candidates are not allowed to offer money, candy or benefits in exchange of votes. It is important that all the candidates stick to the rules and try to win the hearts and minds of their voters. All the students have to be registered and have a student id in order to vote.
The day before the election day the teachers and school staff work very hard to change the school into a park with voting booths. The basketball court is changed in to an outdoor dining room with multiple tables waiting for their customers the next morning. The Kitchen staff gets ready for the day ahead of time by preparing frozen food that will be chocolate coated the next day: popcorn, cookies, and slushies, among others. But most important they get ready for the great pancake breakfast.
The Pancake breakfast is a great opportunity for the student body to start celebrating the excitement that this day has but is also a great opportunity to fundraise to support the different needs and activities that Colegio Bethel has.
The school doors open at 8:00 on election day. First stop is the school’s bank where everybody exchanges money for tickets. Parents and families with their children come in through the doors to enjoy a delicious breakfast served by the school administration. Then at 10:00 the pancake breakfast ends and the school basketball court is changed into a plaza where different vendors offer their goods. Teachers and school staff tend those booths where children come and go acquiring the delicious treats they fancy.
From 10:00 till 12:00 pm the school “radio” sends its reporters to encourage the student body to come to their assigned voting booth and vote for the candidate of their liking. Just after 12:00 the votes are counted by the Supreme Electoral Board. The students and especially the candidates are filled with exhilarating excitement. Students gather around their candidate and wait patiently for the results. Finally, the Board representative announces who got 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place.
The student body erupts in applause and congratulates the new princess. This election marks the beginning to the anniversary celebrations at Colegio Bethel and serves not only as a practical way to teach civic values but also helps them to understand in a tangible way how a democratic election process works.
Praise the Lord for the opportunity to teach good values to future citizens but most importantly it is a good way to teach Christians good citizen values.
Joni Petzey won! All the students were so happy with the election outcome!