Monday, April 7, 2008

Wish they had this when I was in school - Mark Kirk's Model Congress

From Sunday's Daily Herald

About 70 students took on the roles of actual congressmen and debated two Proposed laws, as part of the Tenth District Model Congress held Saturday and again today at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

Libertyville junior Emily Buehler was excited to attend. "I attended last year and thought it was worthwhile. This year, I really care about the subjects of the two bills which are being considered, so I'm personally interested, as well," she said.

The students, outfitted in business attire or dresses or suits and ties, participated in congressional hearings, "mark up" legislative sessions and heated debates about potential laws. The proposed laws included one to establish U.S. policy toward peace and security of the Darfur region of Sudan, and another to establish policy on stem cell research. Since students had to represent actual Congress members, it encouraged them to look at the issue from a point of view that may differ from their own, Buehler said. At times, the students stepped out of their roles. After all, it was politics, said Will McGauran, a senior at New Trier High School who was attending for the second year.

"It is highly likely that future members of Congress are sitting here in this room, and this will give them a jump start on the process," Kirk said. Kirk and congressional staff were on hand to guide the students through realistic committee hearings and floor proceedings.

What a cool way to get kids interested in government and politics. My own interest was spurred by the totally opposite views of my staunchly Republican Mom and my labor Dem Dad. What got you interested in government and politics?

No comments: