On April 24, students from Cape Girardeau Central High School, Eagle Ridge Christian School, and Notre Dame Regional High School will job shadow local government officials as they participate in the 28th Annual Optimist Youth in Government Day. The day is sponsored by the four Cape Girardeau and two Jackson Optimist Clubs.
“They get to see first-hand how city, county, and federal government works,” said Optimist Pat Patterson. “The Optimist Club motto ‘Friend of Youth’ is evident in this activity. We hope this exposure to the governmental process will encourage students to become active, informed citizens in their communities,” he added.
Participants will gather at City Hall in Cape Girardeau in the Council Chambers at 8 a.m. for introductions and a general welcome. Students will then have approximately one hour and thirty minutes with their assigned government official before gathering for a mock City Council meeting at 10:15 a.m.
During the mock City Council meeting, students will discuss issues including urban deer management, scooter safety, bicycle lanes, outdoor noise and music, a potential smoking ban, texting while driving, and housing farm animals within the city limits. A proclamation will be made declaring April 28-May 4 as Local Government Week.
Following the City Council meeting, participants will assemble at the American Legion Post 63 in Cape Girardeau Hall for a luncheon and speaker.
The Optimist Clubs have received two International Awards for their work on Youth in Government Day, as well as numerous state awards. There are nearly 400 Optimist Club members in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, and the founding club began 74 years ago.
For more information on Optimist Youth in Government Day, or other youth programs sponsored by local Optimist Clubs, contact Pat Patterson.
All media are invited to attend any or all of the day. Co-Chairs for the event are Representative Wayne Wallingford and local photographer Pat Patterson of Cape Girardeau.
Mock City Council meeting agenda: Youth in Government Day Agenda 2013
Cape Central High School
Brendan Williams, Emily Hagan, Josh Greaser, Ashley Westbrook, Britney Hubbard, Layne Wilson, Brittany Beveridge, Bailey Bliss, Jordan Stone, Jacklyn Allen, Jerry Buck, Ari Zakroff, Nathan Lutes, Bri Shaw.
Notre Dame Regional High School
Jackson Voss, Emily Todt, Sarah Stroup, Sara Coello, Taylor Feeney, Jessie Westrich, Griffin Patterson, Madison Beulow, Sam Moses, Jordan Caruso, Logan Mainord, Alex Wikel, Andrea Younghouse, Anna Unterreiner.
Eagle Ridge Christian School
Josh Friedrich and Nathan Davis.