Seeing their government in action made a lasting impression on three Logan County students who ventured to the state Capitol as legislative pages for a day.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience – something I can never forget,” said Lydia Manley, an junior student ambassador at Logan County High School. She was among three Logan County students chosen by the Family Resource and Youth Services Coalition of Kentucky (FRYSCKY). Joining Lydia were sixth grader Brooke Jenkins of Lewisburg School, and eighth grader, Jenna Robertson of Adairville School. These girls were chosen through submitted applications to their local FRSYC Directors and submitted to the FRYSCKY for consideration.
After a brief tour Feb. 24, the kids spent the afternoon on the Senate and House floor. They worked alongside their assigned legislators, some took turns carrying paperwork to the front, fetching coffee or water, and running other errands. All the while, they watched the lawmakers closely.
Lydia noted the process was “exciting to watch as the representatives debate issues and there is lots of activity going on all at one time” she recalled the flurry of excitement in the House. Lydia and Jenna paged in the House of Representatives with Martha Jane King,”Brooke Jenkins paged in the Senate with Whitney Westerfield “We’re learning about the three branches of government in school right now so it was really awesome to see it for myself. After returning to school I got to share with my classmates what the Legislature does and it was a really fun experience. Parents also got to accompany the students and were guests in the gallery “It’s a great first exposure to government for these students.” Jennas mom Jennifer Robertson said.
The students were selected based on their applications, essays about why they wanted to be a page and posters illustrating what a Family Resource and Youth Services Center does – providing everything from support to as risk students and families, healthcare food and leadership programs like the Logan County High School Ambassadors. “The Family Resource Youth Service Centers support kids who need it so all students can be successful in school,” Brooke Jenkins said. The FRYSCKy page program is open to grades 5-12; one winner is picked from each participating school.“It’s a way of getting the students involved in the government process, and the student becomes an advocate to the Legislature about what the FRYSCs do for their schools and how important they are,” said Jama Richardson LCHS YSC Director. The coalition is a nonprofit organization of educators and human services providers who come together to provide legislative advocacy, training and support for FRYSC coordinators and their staff in Kentucky. Melanie Manley FRYSC Director at Lewisburg and Adairville joined the students for the day, “observing state lawmakers in Frankfort shows students one way that they, too, can make a difference in the public arena. They can be an advocate, no matter their age, for what they feel is important.”