The LegiSchool Project is pleased to announce our 2016-17 programming, where we will again strive to get students to“learn by doing”. Through our activities, students can experience state government first-hand, and we urge them to think critically about issues that are important to Californians. By focusing on topics that directly impact students, we hope to motivate young people to take an interest in the public life around them and to encourage their active participation in our political process.
This year we are tackling the timely topics of how the state regulates tobacco use and driverless vehicles in our December and February Town Halls. In addition, we will continue to host our increasingly popular annual contests as well as our summer civics internship at the State Capitol. More program details can be found in our newsletter.
Right now, juniors and seniors around the state are invited to enter our essay contest. The topic is whether the school day should start later. The top 10 essayists receive roundtrip travel to the State Capitol to meet with legislators and other state leaders and share their thoughts and opinions. The postmark deadline for essays is November 18.
The caliber of photos we received in this year’s “California Through My Eyes” contest was pretty amazing. Our judges had no small task in trying to select our winner and runners-up, all of whom received a cash prize. In addition, the judges helped select about 60 photos to be named for honorable mention. The final results (showcased below) are pretty incredible and illustrate the diversity and wonder of the state of California! You can also see all of these photos on display at the State Capitol building, starting June 20. They’ll be located on the third floor of the annex.
Hundreds of student photographers participated from 54 high school around the state, submitting not only their photo but an essay describing how their photo represents California. We want to thank the schools, districts and legislative offices that helped spread the word about the contest, which we hope allows students to exercise their creativity while thinking critically about what California means to them.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($150)
Emely was selected as the grand prize winner for her photo, Lost in Thought, a portrait of her grandfather sitting at his home. As she notes, her grandparents “made themselves a part of California when they arrived in the early 70’s. They had to support their 8 children together so they made a living as strawberry pickers, working as a mechanic and being a housemaid…My generation will never understand what it is like to struggle – we get things handed down to us instead of earning it. This is California through my eyes.”
Every year, LegiSchool hosts our California Through My Eyes Photo contest, where we ask students to step behind the lens and capture an image that represents California. One grand prize winner and four runners-up receive cash prizes. All winning photos and honorable mention entries are displayed at the Capitol during the summer.
On March 2nd, our essay winners from around the state gathered together in Sacramento to meet with lawmakers and talk to them about their ideas regarding youth political participation.
To begin the day, students met with Assemlymember Talamantes Eggman, chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Civic Engagement. She talked with them about the importance of getting involved in your community, using examples from her past to illustrate her point. Students had the chance to ask her a lot of great questions about her work, her life, and her career. She had some amazing words of wisdom and advice that she passed on to the winners.
Next, Assemblymember Gonzalez spoke with students about her efforts to increase political participation among youth – including a bill she is authoring to lower the voting age for some elections to 16. In addition, Continue reading “Essay Winners at the Capitol”→
Every summer, LegiSchool hosts our Real World Civics Internship, a five-week program where high school students experience all three branches of state government firsthand. Our goal is to have students “learn by doing” and this internship provides experiential learning opportunities every week. Students spend two weeks working in the Legislature, two weeks working in the Executive branch and one week exploring the Judicial branch through our Court Camp program.
The 2016 internship runs from June 22 – July 29 and students earn $350 upon successful completion of the program. You must be currently enrolled as a junior or senior in high school to apply.
Interested? Apply now. Our application deadline is April 8.