Columbus Academy Students Create Mock Statehouse
A visit from Rep. Kevin Boyce recently transformed the fifth- through eighth-grade classroom at Columbus Adventist Academy into the floor of the statehouse where bills and laws are debated. Rather than lecture students about the ins and outs of state government, Boyce called them up to the board, had them debate issues they care about and made them rise in support or disdain of those issues. He made them feel like real lawmakers.
Story by Allegheny West Conference Staff
Students learned about decorum and how to express their support or opposition of proposed bills. Boyce, who also serves as the minority whip in the
Ohio House of Representatives, also taught about the structure of state government and how it mirrors the federal government.
The visit made an impact on students. “[Boyce’s] visit was inspiring,” said fifth-grader Dalin Murray, “following the one-hour presentation. This sentiment was echoed over and over again in thank-you letters students wrote to Boyce. Excerpts from some of those letters are below:
- “I thought that this visit would have bored me to sleep, but you made it fun and easy for us to learn about politics. … Because of your coming here, now I don’t think politics are boring any more. Now I want to be a representative just like you.”—Marco Tapia, sixth grade
- “One thing that impacted me is encouraging other people to vote, such as my parents.”—Reginald Ware, Jr., seventh grade
- “What astonished me most is how orderly our government is, because for a long time I thought they all came together and just argued. This was a great experience.”—Nana Ossei-Wusu, seventh grade
- “P.S. Can you see if you can really [have] a ‘no uniforms’ policy enacted? You never know. Arguing over it in the real House of Representatives could be as fun as it was at CAA!”—Romiaun Speed, sixth grade
- “We live in an age where African-American males are getting [hurt] every day, and most of the time it’s by the people who are supposed to be protecting us. … The whole time you were speaking, I was thinking, ‘Wow! It’s amazing to know we still have good African-American males out there who stand for something besides basketball and music.’ Thank you for being the exception to the rule and using your knowledge to influence others for good.”—Morgan Lewis, eighth grade
- “I thought you would just tell us stuff that wouldn’t stick in my brain, but everything you shared did!”—Alayna Crawford, seventh grade