Tuesday, April 7, 2015

TeenPact Program

On the last day of Spring Break, the girls and I participated in a one day class to learn and understand more about our government and how we can have a voice. I know most kids, including mine, would have thought they were being tortured by doing school on their last day of break but I knew this class would give us a lot of information for our upcoming government/civics study. The purpose of the Teen Pact One Day State Class is to give students tools and training to get involved and make a difference. 

Before the class began, we were given an itinerary for the day along with an ice breaker activity to meet other students in the class. Older students from the 4 day class were helpers in orchestrating the events of the day. They were very friendly with the younger students and made them feel welcomed. The class began with a prayer and a look inside the bible for biblical authority on leadership and government issues. They should really think about offering this to politicians today. There is so much greed and power held within our leadership that many have forgotten God's ways. Although many are trying to take God out of his own picture, I liked the way this class included God's intentions for us as a nation. 

After looking through the bible, we went on a prayer walk. We were taken to the building where our state's Senators and House of Representatives meet. As we stood in the halls next the offices for many of these men and women, we prayed for them and their leadership. We stepped inside the room in which they meet regularly and prayed for the decisions they make for our state. 

Next, we went a scavenger hunt that led us around and into the capital. 

This is the old room where the House used to meet.

After lunch, we met back in the same room where we started. Each student had to write a bill and bring it to class. The students were given a chance to present their bill in front of the class. They could be serious or funny. Laney wrote hers on doing away with scary movies and commercials. Ella wrote her bill on removing all curse words from the public ear which included television, radio and from humans themselves. 

Once the bills were read, the students learned about getting a bill passed. They were taught through a very creative skit the legislative process. They were introduced to the word amendment and what happens when this is added or not added to a bill. They learned how a lobbyist can help persuade a decision. The class was divided into groups and able to practice this process introduced in the skit with their own bill. They had to use words like "Will the gentleman/lady in the well yield to a question." or "I move to amend…." or "I second that motion!" 

At the end of the class, the students were gathered as a whole group again and the room was transformed into a setting similar to the Senate.  Random bills from the students were chosen and read. The others in the class could use the skills they learned during group time to pass or amend the bill. Laney's bill was chosen and passed.

The students were given a certificate of completion at the end of the day.

When it was all over, I thought this class was interesting, informative, and presented well. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the teachers and learned a lot about the legislative process. I would high recommend this class to anyone!!!!

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