MAMARONECK, N.Y. Tyler Karow may consider himself a Democrat, but he and 63 other Mamaroneck High School students are on a three-day field trip to Manchester, N.H. to volunteer for one of four Republican campaigns leading up to Tuesday's primary.
Karow, 17, and his classmates drove up to the "Live Free or Die" state early Sunday morning and will be making calls, going door to door and making signs for either the Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman or Newt Gingrich campaign. Students had an opportunity to sign up for the candidate of their choice. Karow will be working with the Gingrich campaign.
"I'm very excited," said Karow, a Mamaroneck resident who is very interested in politics. "It's pretty much an opportunity that no other kid my age can experience. While I'm not exactly a conservative myself, I'm excited to be working with the Gingrich campaign."
The 64 students all take AP Government and Politics, taught by Joe Liberti, who came up with the idea and organized the trip. "It's going to give them a real sense of how campaigns actually operate on the ground," Liberti said. "It's really an opportunity for authentic learning outside of school."
Liberti said some of his students, like Karow, "live, breath and eat politics." But, for those who aren't as passionate, Liberti hopes they will, "come home with that political bug."
Lily Goldstein, 17, wasn't as interested in politics as someone like Karow. But, since taking Liberti's class, she said she has grown much more interested in how government works and is excited to experience the political process first hand.
"It makes the government class really come to life, to talk about how the system works and to see its real-life effects today," Goldstein said.
Goldstein will be one of several students documenting their trip with the help of the MHS video teacher Emily Dombroff, who will create a 10-minute documentary. "It will be exciting for our students to experience this real-world, breaking news environment," she said.
Goldstein said the video will focus on the students' experience in New Hampshire, but didn't rule out some potential cameos. "It'll be focused on us. But, if we come across one of the candidates, I won't hesitate to interview them," she said.
The potential is there for students to meet the candidates they work for, Liberti said. But, it all depends on their schedules, which haven't been confirmed.
Students arrived in New Hampshire a little after lunchtime Sunday and went straight to their respective campaign headquarters to get started on the "get out the vote" activities. "My plan is to get the students to work right away with the candidates that they signed up for," he said.
On Sunday, the students were scheduled to meet with Newt Gingrichs Director of Field Operations. After a full day of activities with their respective campaigns Monday, the students will head over to the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at 6 p.m. for a panel discussion hosted by Politico , featuring top news media political correspondents. They include CNNs Candy Crowley, NBCs Chuck Todd, ABCs Jon Karl, and Washington Post chief correspondent Dan Balz.
Check back with The Daily Mamaroneck later this week for student reaction to their trip.
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