By Leslie Manning, DEA, 4-H Youth and Community Development River Valley Extension District
Nine 4-Hers from the River Valley Extension District recently attended the 4-H Citizenship in Action Forum in Topeka, February 16-17th. Jill Vesta, Natalie Vesta, Regan Wichman, Andy Anderson, JaelAnn Hoover, Lasondra Aurand, Micayla Pachta, Aundrea Bruna and Tori Zabokrtsky were among 264 4-Hers and chaperones who attended the event. 4-H parents, Clay and Gina Aurand helped chaperone the River Valley delegation with Leslie Manning, 4-H Youth and Community Development Agent.
The youth discussed four proposed legislative bills and then debated the bills at Mock Legislative Sessions in the Kansas House of Representative and Senate Chamber. Representative Sharon Schwartz and her husband, Representative Vern Swanson and his wife, Susie and Senator Elaine Bowers joined the 4-Hers for dinner Sunday evening.
The youth met with Senator Bowers and Representative Swanson in their offices, presenting information about the River Valley district and sharing their ideas of how they expect to contribute to Kansas. The River Valley 4-Her’s sat in on an Appropriations Committee meeting with Representative Schwartz and received recognition by the committee. A tour of the Capitol and hike to the top of the dome were included in the schedule for the day. The event ended by observing the Senate floor as Senator Bowers presented a resolution honoring the Citizenship in Action delegation. 4-Her’s in the gallery were asked to stand to be recognized.
Citizenship in Action was a great opportunity for 4-Hers to learn how the legislative process works and how their voice and participation in decision-making can make a difference in their communities. This event is open to 4-Hers 13 years of age and older.