Students from Bridges Community Academy visited the Democratic and Republican headquarters in Tiffin Wednesday to learn about the voting process and local and national issues.
Students in grades 4-7 walked from Bridges to the Democratic headquarters, 159 S. Washington St., where they talked to Joe Reino, field organizer for Organizing for America.
Students and faculty then walked Republican headquarters, 93 N. Washington St., where they talked with Dave Burke, who is running for Ohio Senate, and Fred Zoeller and Holly Stacy, who are running for Seneca County commissioner.
David Burke, a native of Marysville, told the students about being a pharmacist and drug store owner.
"It is important to go to school and get good grades," Burke said.
He asked the students what they wanted to be when they grew up. One student said he wanted to be a math teacher, and another a military pilot.
"Politics and your future are important," said Burke.
School, job and doing well in life also are important, he said.
Talking about becoming a leader, Holly Stacy said it is important to teach and direct, but being a good listener plays a big role in being a good leader.
After meeting the candidates, students walked to the Tiffin Police and Fire All Patriots Memorial where they ate lunch and talked to Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz.
Montz discussed the importance of the memorial and its parts.
"I love doing this," he said. "I remember when politicians came to the school to talk and ever since I have been obsessed with politics."
"I hope to inspire one or two young people to one day run for a political office," Montz said.
Teacher Amy Lanier set up the event with Kim Bonnell and Deb Kohler.
Bridges focuses on project-based learning and students are organized in teams rather than grades. Students are learning about the voting and election processes through math and science and are conducting their own mock election.
"Our goal is to not only help our students become aware of their civic duty but to educate our students on local government by making it a memorable experience," Lanier said. "We wanted to mention that both parties were very accommodating and to say thank you to both parties."