FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2013
Contact: Tom Staudter | ThomasS@westchesterlegislators.com | 914-995-2819 | 914-419-5221 (cell)
BOL Majority Leader Harckham Hosts 4th Graders for Mock Legislature Program
White Plains, NY – Throughout the school year various groups of students from around the county have been visiting the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) to participate in the BOL’s Mock Legislature Program, which is tied to a government curriculum in the schools.
Yesterday, BOL Majority Leader Pete Harckham hosted one of the last groups to visit during this school year when fifty 4th graders from West Patent Elementary School of the Bedford Central School District participated in the Mock Legislature Program.
“It is heartening to see students take hands-on ownership of the legislative process by taking a bill through a process from the germ of an idea in the classroom, to passing the law on the floor here at the Board of Legislators,” said Harckham. “Even the shy students become involved and shine.”
A number of 4th or 5th grade classes from elementary schools within 2nd Legislative District, which Harckham represents, have visited the BOL over the course of the school year. Harckham likes to visit each school ahead of the class trip to White Plains to talk to the students and give them background on the BOL and his job as legislator.
When the students from West Patent Elementary School arrived yesterday on the 8th floor of the Michaelian Office Building, they first went into the BOL Committee Room, where Harckham explained the BOL committee process. Then the students went down the hall to the Rotunda, where Harckham discussed the history of the BOL.
Once in the BOL Chamber, the Bedford students took roles as Chairperson, Clerks, or Legislator, and conducted a meeting, including debating and voting on legislation. Students were all given ae chance to express their opinions on two issues of their choosing—Mandatory School Uniforms and Longer School Days.
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(Photos below. Credit: Westchester County Board of Legislators / Aviva Meyer)