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Utah House Majority Caucus Launches New Civic Engagement Program For Kids

Andrew Smith, Wikimedia

To better engage with Utah students, the state’s House Majority Caucus recently  launched a new civic engagement program where groups of fourth and fifth graders will visit the State Capitol each month.  

During the first session of a new community civic engagement program last month, elementary students gathered in the House chambers and discussed pieces of mock legislation, like making ice cream Utah’s state dessert.

“We’re hoping that this engages," said Abby Osborne, the Chief of Staff for the Utah House of Representatives. "One little girl said to me, ‘I’m totally running for student council now’.” And so I think kids got really excited and it was really great to see.”

 

Osborne participated in the trial run of the program in June. She said it is a great opportunity for kids to start learning about the legislative process in a hands-on and fun way.

 

Each month fourth and fifth grade students from the House Districts throughout the state will be invited to the State Capitol to learn about the lawmaking process and meet with representatives. 

 

The first group of students were from Davis County and got to spend time meeting the governor. Osborne said he spent about 20 minutes talking to them. 

 

“What we want them to get out of it is that being a part of this process has so much impact on every Utahn," she said. "And hopefully, they continue to have the spark and want to get involved themselves somewhere along the lines.”

 

Osborne said she is excited for the program to foster more understanding of civics. She also said state legislators will be reaching out to their schools directly as they move forward with the program.

Harley is a news reporter at UPR. She covers a bit of everything, but especially news dealing with education and updates from the governor. She has always loved both writing and public speaking, so radio is perfect for her. She is a student at USU studying journalism, sociology, and criminal justice. Outside of work and school, she loves running, hiking, and exploring National Parks.