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High School Students Learn about Government

Published on August 07, 2015

High School Students Learn about Government

Boys State

From June 20-25, more than 200 high school juniors from across the state converged on campus to attend the 26th Annual American Legion Boys State. During Boys State, the students learned how state and municipal governments operate. They set up and ran mock town, city and state elections, and engaged in role-playing where towns are represented. Mayors lobbied, while representatives and senators debated and enacted legislation. This year’s guest speakers included Connecticut State Comptroller Kevin Lembro; former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz; Connecticut Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman; U. S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal and David Greenleaf, chairman of the American Legion Boys’ State Commission.

Girls State

High school students from across the state cheer it up at Laurel Girls State.

From June 28-July 2, more than 200 high school students from around the state participated in the Laurel Girls State program on campus. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, Laurel Girls State prepares young women for careers in government through citizenship and democracy.
Program officials focused on patriotism by involving students in all aspects of government, and by enhancing pride in America. Students elected officials on a local and state level, who then carried out the duties of their offices. In mock settings, students also wrote bills and enacted legislation.
The Girls State program has provided students with hands-on citizenship experience and government participation for more than 65 years. Girls State officials hope the experience will result in lifelong participation in government.

This year’s speakers included Sue Larsen, chairman and director of Laurel Girls State; Connecticut Lt. Governor Wyman; U. S. Senator Richard Blumenthal; Denis Paddi LeShane, managing partner in the Hartford-based Sullivan and LeShane lobbying firm; Janet Jefford, national president of the American Legion Auxiliary; Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary of State; and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.

Written by Dwight Bachman