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Monday, May 16, 2011

Learning Today - Leading Tomorrow

Our elementary school student council spent today shadowing representatives of our local government in Green Island. The experience was framed around a robust and interesting agenda. We are grateful for Mayor Ellen McNulty-Ryan and Executive Assistant to the Mayor, Sean Ward, for generously providing their time to offer our learners an insight on governance procedures and activities.

The children had previously received an informational packet that supplied them with: a history of Green Island; the organization of the town and village, including the Industrial Development Agency, and background on the Green Island Power Authority. The group was welcomed by Ellen and Sean. Following introductions, there was a tour that began at the Water Plant, extended to a visit of the Hydroelectric Plant, continued onward to local municipal facilities (Police Department, Fire Station, Department of Public Works, and the Administrative Offices. Next, the group took a break for lunch and enjoyed pizza and beverages before resuming the tour.

A mock Village Board meeting occurred in the afternoon. This event took the participants through an imaginary meeting, complete with the same template for an agenda actually used by the trustees. A special element of today's agenda involved the examination and adoption of a mock local law proposed by the youngsters. After the meeting, the day concluded with a question and answer session during which the learners could find out more about the meaning and mechanisms involved in managing the village.

This Government Day experience represented a valuable opportunity for young learners to gain an understanding on the responsibilities and activities associated with effective governmental operations that support our society. Some day in the not so distant future, this generation of elementary age learners will be exercising leadership and managerial tasks necessary to sustain our way of life. The decisions, whether at the local, state, or national level, will have implications for those they serve - including us. For that reason, it's important that we supply them with a perspective on the practices of government. For that reason, it's important that we provide them with optimal learning experiences to prepare them for the future. For that reason, it's important that you vote on the school budget. You can vote on Tuesday, May 17th between 2:00pm and 8:00pm in the Heatly School cafeteria.

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