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Boys State 2009 at Eastern

Written by Allison Kelly

  Boys State Workshop 2008.jpgLast year, high school juniors from across Connecticut participated in workshops designed to teach them how state and municipal governments operate.


Willimantic, CT--Eastern Connecticut State University will host nearly 300 Connecticut high school juniors, as well as state legislators, lawyers, police officers and government officials during the 68th American Legion Boys State, being held June 21-26. This will be the 22nd year in a row that Boys State has been held at Eastern.

            Student delegates will arrive on campus June 21.  Boys State officially begins with formal opening ceremonies at 7:30 p.m., with the keynote address delivered by Connecticut Supreme Court Justice C. Ian McLachlan.  David Greenleaf, chairman of the American Legion's Boys State Commission, and American Legion Department Commander Harvey Dagett will also speak.

            The weeklong program is formatted to educate students on how state and municipal governments operate.  Participants will set up and run mock town, city, county and state elections.  Students will engage in role-playing to show how towns are represented, mayors lobby, and representatives and senators debate and enact legislation.

Greenleaf praised Eastern for hosting Boys State over the years.  "Eastern makes the summer program a very positive experience for young people who cannot help but return to their communities with a desire to make a positive contribution," said Greenleaf. 

"Eastern Connecticut State University is proud of our longstanding relationship with Boys State, which provides a model of exemplary programming highlighting good citizenship," said Shelly Gimenez, dean of the School of Continuing Education.  "We are delighted to be part of an initiative that grooms future leaders on a local, state and national level. Once again we look forward to hosting Boys State on our campus."

A number of state legislators and senators also have been invited to speak throughout the week. This year's guests include Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz who is scheduled to speak at 9:15 a.m. on June 22.  Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will speak at 1 p.m. on June 22.  On June 23, Boys State participants will hear from Rep. Ted Graziani (D-57th District) and Windham District Judge Dennis O'Brien. On June 24, Chester Superior Court Judge Susan Peck and Paul Murray, deputy chief state's attorney, will speak.


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