MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBSNewYork) — A group of Mamaroneck High School students was in New Hampshire this week, working on campaigns and getting firsthand experience in the political process.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the 115 students from the Westchester County public school came to New Hampshire to work on a number of campaigns – those of Democrats Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) as well as Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) among the Republicans.
The students also came to observe the political shenanigans and experience democracy in action.
“It’s so important to take kids out of the classroom and actually have them engage in the practice of politics,” said teacher Joe Liberti. “It’s not enough to read about it. It’s not enough to discuss it. They have to engage it and experience it themselves.”
The New Hampshire trip is Liberti’s brainchild. The first time he did it was four years ago, and he said it made a lasting impression on his students.
“The students in 2012 who came up with me stayed engaged. They volunteered for campaigns the next election cycle. They still write me and tell me who they’re voting for,” Liberti said.
Student William Roberts is volunteering for Rubio.
He said he will tell people Rubio “understands that the most important institution in America is the family, and he’s for tax credits for families. He is the most electable.”
Victoria Patti is a Sanders volunteer, and outlined the case for him.
“Bernie Sanders believes that our current economic system isn’t doing enough for the American middle class and lower classes,” Patti said. “So he has a clear-cut program and policy that will help both of those classes improve their wealth, and it’ll close the gap between the rich and the poor.”
The students tried to work for candidates with whom they feel simpatico. Kramer asked self-described Republican student Jimmy Quinn if he would vote for former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“It depends on who else is running,” Quinn replied.
The New Hampshire primaries are set for Tuesday.