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Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates visit students at Roosevelt Middle School

Monday morning, all eight Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates met with 8th grade students at Roosevelt Middle School. (CBS2/FOX28)

Tuesday morning at 8 a.m., 200 eighth grade students were lucky enough to be visited by all eight Cedar Rapids mayoral candidates.

Even though Alexis Bolin is five years away from stepping into a voting booth, she said that she was eager to learn about how the process worked.

"If I know it now, then I’ll know it for when I am older," said Bolin.

When the candidates stopped by her social studies classroom at Roosevelt Middle school, she didn’t shy away from some big questions - starting with gun control.

"I asked about concealed carriers because my grandpa is a concealed carrier, and I wanted to know how they would change or affect laws around that," said Bolin. "And then I asked about city streets because I wanted to walk more with my family without breaking my ankle on a bump.”

The campaign forum is the first part of a mock election. After today, the eighth graders will form groups and campaign for candidates, presenting in front of the 6th and 7th graders at their school. On November 7, the whole school will cast votes.

By getting to know the issues at a young age, students like Bryce Davis learn how to shape the future of Cedar Rapids.

"It's the hometown I've always lived in - I know this place like the back of my hand," said Davis. "I just wanna do what's best for the city so that I know it'll be okay and not all messed up."

Breanna Oxley, a Roosevelt eighth grade social studies and science teacher, helped organize the event, along with the League of Women Voters. She said that the kids were willing to do the research on the candidates and ready to ask them questions.

"They know what's going on. They're very perceptive," said Oxley. "And so with a little guidance and a little help they're really able to latch onto these ideas and see how they can make a difference."

She hopes at the end of today, the students take home what they learned and start a conversation with their parents.

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