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Charter students ‘study’ Palin at rally; Hoped to attend Biden’s also

By Staff | Oct 9, 2008

Twenty-five Cape Coral Charter School students got the chance to see Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin up close on Tuesday as the vice presidential hopeful rallied 9,000 supporters at Germain Arena.

Principal Dr. Deborah Nauss said the students really enjoyed themselves as they spent the day studying the procession of Republican officials who took the stage in advance of Palin, from Sen. Mel Martinez to Gov. Charlie Crist.

The charter group consisted of student government leaders and the school’s student of the month recipients for October.

“The students were thrilled they were able to see so many famous faces and got to be there,” Nauss said. “They were interested in all the posters and banners (in the crowd).”

Students had some work to do while enjoying the festivities, taking time to discuss and determine the Republican Party’s platform. They also “compared and contrasted” the McCain/Palin ticket with that of Obama and Biden.

“We’re trying to expose the students as much to both platforms as possible,” Nauss said.

Taking the students to see Palin plays into Charter Schools USA’s STRIVE program, which focuses heavily on character education keys including justice, responsibility and integrity.

Sixth-grader Stephanie Moratto said she thinks the STRIVE program is “great,” and had a blast at the rally.

“It was very exciting,” Moratto said. “Just getting the chance to learn the difference between Republicans and Democrats.”

Classmate Alexa Rodriguez, too, had a lot of fun, and said she understood what Palin meant when she spoke of helping the economy recover.

“A lot of people are losing money,” she said. “My family, too.”

Both Moratto and Rodriguez are class representatives at Cape Coral Charter.

As Southwest Florida prepared for the return of Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., who spoke at Alico Arena Wednesday, Nauss had been trying to procure about 30 tickets for her students.

“We’ve left messages and I spoke with a live person yesterday,” Nauss said. “But, I’m staying persistent and continuing to call.”