Civics class sees government in action at council meeting

Southington High School teacher Candace Patten (right) with her ninth grade honors civics class at the Southington Town Council meeting on April 27.

Southington High School teacher Candace Patten (right) with her ninth grade honors civics class at the Southington Town Council meeting on April 27.

By TAYLOR HARTZ
STAFF WRITER

Southington High School ninth-graders enrolled in the honors level civics course got a taste of town politics last week when teacher Candace Patten took her students to the town council meeting.

Patten said that the purpose of the trip was to teach students how decisions are made in town, and why it is important to be active in government.

While teaching about the rights and duties of citizens, Patten found the town council meeting to be “a perfect opportunity for students to have a hands-on experience and see government in action,” she said. Patten hoped that attending a meeting here in Southington would help give students a personal understanding of what they’re learning in the classroom.

Student Erin Palinkos thought the trip achieved this goal, “In class it’s very textbook,” she said, “but going to the meeting puts everything into a real life perspective.”

Patten said a main goal of this exercise is to demonstrate how every individual can impact town council decisions if they attend and participate.

Student Kelly Koba said that when she saw members of the community stepping up and speaking passionately about issues in town, she “had more of an understanding about why these meetings are held.”

After attending the meeting, students were expected to write a brief summary and participate in a class discussion. Following their discussions students studied newspaper examples and were assigned to write an editorial to help develop their own opinions on government, the council meeting, and any decisions that were made.

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