hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

October 10, 2013

Leaders visit school

Teach students about Statehouse, courts

(Continued)

“In class, learning about the three branches of government can be kind of boring, but this was interactive and helped us to really understand it,” said Hunking student Vincente Nolet.

DiZoglio, who has sponsored legislation to establish student civic education programs, said she is looking forward to visiting other schools in her district in the coming months.

“All too often, our classrooms lack a strong civic education program to inform students about what our state government has to do with our daily lives,” DiZoglio said. “It is so important that youth begin to genuinely grasp these basic concepts to ensure that they are able to actively participate and engage in the process as they are entering into adulthood.”

DiZoglio said two-thirds of students scored below “proficient” on a recent national civics assessment test. In 2010, more than a quarter of college students reported they did not register to vote because they did not know where or how to do so, she said.

Ryan said most high school students don’t understand the courts or their responsibility to serve on juries either.

“It is critical for students to have an understanding of our judicial system early on, given they should be prepared to serve jury duty as soon as high school,” he said.

The next stop on DiZoglio’s Civic Education Tour is Oct. 18 at Methuen High School. She is also talking to officials in Lawrence and North Andover schools about holding civic events in those communities.

What students learned about

How laws are made

The importance of voting

How court hearings work

The responsibilities of a jury

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