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Kingston Students attend Michigan Youth in Government conference in Lansing

Breck Kinsey

Fri, 29 Nov 2019 15:53:37 EST

 


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Some Kingston School District students got a hands-on government lesson that lasted several days. There were 25 Kingston sixth-, seventh- and eighth- grade students that spent three days in Lansing at the Michigan Youth in Government (MYIG) conference. They were kept busy working as congress people, writing legislation, working in committees, and attending house and senate meetings." Sixth-grade teacher Chelsea Green was one of those who went with the students to Lansing. "This program has students write their own legislation. Then, attend a three day conference at the state capitol where they act as congress people, taking bills from committee to the House of Representatives or Senate, and then seeing them through to the Youth Governor to be signed," explained Green. "This program also gives students a first hand look into the capitol building. Students were even able to work and debate on the senate floor." Besides seeing how government works, some students participated in the inner works of democracy, and two became "lawmakers." "Two, eighth graders were fortunate enough to be able to debate on the floor of the Michigan Senate Chambers, and our other students received a tour of the state capitol building," Superintendent Matt Drake explained. "With all of Kingston's student's hard work, the delegation received a reward of 'Premier Delegation', and Pipier St. George was one of only 16 bill authors to have her bill passed in committee, the House of Representatives, the Senate and be signed by the Youth Governor of the conference out of 132 bills." According to St. George, it was an experience she will never for get. "Youth In Government was really amazing. It taught me a lot, like how the government works," she said. "It was super fun, going to the capitol building in Lansing, getting my bill passed, meeting a bunch of people from all over Michigan. I can't wait until next year to go again." Participating in MYIG was an eye-opening experience for sixth-grade students who participated in the event for the first time. One student took her role as a statesman very seriously. "Delegate Walker of Kingston Delegation speaking, I don't even know where to begin it was an unforgettable trip of a lifetime," said Molly Walker. "I'll always remember walking the streets of Lansing to get to our next destination. We were always on the move. "And, oh ya you can't forget about winning an intense game of lightning, getting caught in revolving doors, and being the senate reading clerk." Another student provided insight into some of the traits that are handy for a lawmaker. "Youth In government was a great, fun, and educational experience," Hailey Seaman said. "If you like debating, arguing, and meeting new friends this is a great opportunity." YIG also provided students with their first "networking" along with an opportunity grow. "It was an awesome experience for me. While you are in youth in government you don't just learn, you also make new friends and try new things," Samantha Billot said. In addition, the event was an opportunity for a student to understand failure can also be a learning experience. "To me, it was an exciting trip. I say that because my bill didn't get passed, but it was really nice to go over it and changing things that I did wrong," noted Lilli Welch. "It was an amazing learning experience, and I would do it next year." For some other students, participating in the youth government was a life-changing experience. "It was an experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. It gave me a chance to try my hand in government and be slightly more independent that I would be at home," said Kennedy Hall noting that the "whole experience was flabbergastingly wonderful." Accompanying the students to Lansing was a learning experience for Green as well and bright back memories. "Although I had attended the program as a student at Cass City public schools from sixth to twelfth grade, this was my first year as an advisor, and Kingston's first year sending students," Green said. "Kingston's students represented the district with pride." It was a unique experience for students as well. Hailey McGuire was scared when the event started, but gained confidence that turned a scary event into one of fun. Riley Simonis agreed it was a unique learning experience. "I think this was a really good program for kids my age. I think it boosted my social skills by a lot," Simonis said. "I think everyone had good ideas for bills. Also, I love how we could make new friends." Hector Pisha noted being able to interact with other students was part of the learning experience as well. "When we went to MYIG we got to hang out with other people and talk. After that we got to go to our committee and talk about bills. All in all, it was really cool that we got to go see other students and their different cultures," said Pisha. And, Colin Corlis was impressed with the busy schedule and the number of conferences students were able to attend. Drake said the district is thankful to the community for supporting the students exploration of how government works. For more information on the program go to the website www.myig.org.



   


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