Students Serve as Pages in State Legislature
During the fifth and seventh weeks of the 2009 Washington State Legislative Session, several Seventh-day Adventist students participated in the Senate Page Program.
Auburn Adventist Academy sophomore student Missy May and Buena Vista Elementary eighth-grade students Joe Engelhart, Elliot Fletcher and Lauren Epperson took part in the page program.
In addition to studying the legislative process, daily duties included delivering mail, running errands, and helping to lighten the load of the senators and staff.
"When they were in session, I'd bring the senators memos and supplies," says Missy May of Bonney Lake, Wash. "Being a part of the program made me appreciate how hard everyone works to put bills into laws." When asked how it affected her personally, May comments, "It [paging] made me more focused and more motivated to become active in state legislature."
John Spano, AAA government and personal law teacher, explains the value of such programs: "It awakens in the students the relevance of the process of developing public policy. Through personal experience, they come to understand how these bills are important in our everyday lives and how they make a difference in the lives of others."
"My favorite job was being able to work on the house floor," says Elliot Fletcher, when recounting his week at the state capitol. "We had many special privileges the public doesn't have access to, and I thought it was fun to learn more about the politicians and how government works."
Students, by spending a week on the front lines of legislative government, gained a unique perspective of Washington state government, enriched their educational experience, and discovered being an informed and involved citizen is truly a capital idea!