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Students learn first-hand about government

by jmaloni
Thu, Feb 2nd 2012 07:00 am
Shown from left are Colonial Village students Antonio Conklin, Mason Miller, Maya Pera and Carmyn Gonzalez.
Shown from left are Colonial Village students Antonio Conklin, Mason Miller, Maya Pera and Carmyn Gonzalez.

As a part of their social studies unit, fifth-graders at Colonial Village Elementary ran for election as class governor.

Each student was asked to write a persuasive essay informing students about the traits they have that would make them a great leader. They outline their platform and discuss how they can have a voice in the way things are done in fifth grade. Topics range from amount of recess time to how disruptive behavior should be handled. Each class votes, and elects a classroom governor.

This year, the following students were elected governor of their respective classrooms: Allison Ewert, Marissa Giaquinto, Alexis Gordon and Rachel Quarantillo

The governors go on to be candidates for president of the fifth grade. On Election Day, the classroom governors read their speeches to each fifth-grade class. Simultaneously, the classrooms join to form a congress, with half of the students as senators and the others representatives. Each "house" met in small committees and created a bill that would determine the requirements for recess. Students created such perquisites as "all homework must be completely timely and be quality work prior to receiving recess".

A "recess bill" from each house was then consolidated into a final recess bill.

A joint meeting of congress was held to ensure all members had the opportunity to vote for the final bill. Once approved, the fifth-grade leadership signed the bill. Finally, President Ewert approved the "recess law" with her signature. Vice President Giaquinto, President Pro Tempore of the Senate Quarantillo and Secretary of State Gordon also signed the new law.

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