by Jan Goehring
Six classes from Roberts Elementary School in Tallahassee, Fla., recently experienced some real-world civics. The program, sponsored by the Florida Law Related Education Association, Inc. (FLREA), took the students "out of their seats" in the classroom and brought them to the state capitol for a day of learning about government. But it was far more than the usual capitol tour.
The students had been studying the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum. The culminating activity of the program is a simulated hearing during which the students answer questions about the constitution and its history. These young people gave their presentations and defended their constitutional knowledge at the capitol. They answered questions posed by legislative staff members.
To further their understanding of our system of democracy, the students then participated in a mock legislative session where they considered fictional bills. Annette Boyd Pitts, Executive Director of FLREA, guided them through the process. Representative Alan Williams also spoke to the students and provided an inside look at the legislative process.
“It is our hope, that through exciting, interesting, and active programs … we will captivate the attention of young people and inspire them to be active and engaged citizens in our democracy," says Erin Crowe, FLREA program director.