Ten years ago, the first students stepped into the municipal building’s civic education classroom to take-part in the first City Hall School. Since then, over 7,000 young people, grades three to 12, have attended the school.
The program focuses on the processes, depth and breadth of municipal government.
“The students raved about the experience and their parents said their kids have never had so much to say about school,” said one grade 3 teacher.
Teachers apply to bring their students to the program in spring and align a particular City business with their curriculum. Over 500 staff from specific business units have spoken to the students and many have returned to volunteer their time.
About 27 classes attend each year to speak with Council members, including the Mayor, and members of administration. The students, along with over four thousand volunteer chaperones and 300 teachers, have learned about every City business unit there.
Because the school began in the year 2000 it is very possible that many grade three students from the first year were voters in the last election. Could this be the reason for increased voter turnout?