Echo Lake 5th graders sworn in as Presidents in Olympia

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Echo Lake 5th graders, parents, teachers, justices
and Gov. Inslee at the Temple of Justice
Photo by Monto Morton, AOC

Echo Lake Elementary 5th graders taught by Karen Nicholson and Allan Rand traveled to the state capitol on Monday, January 23rd to help kick off a Washington State Civics Learning Initiative.

Enaaya Mahmood ran a vigorous campaign
Photo by Karen Nicholson
The 2017 Civic Learning Initiative Summit One was held at the Temple of Justice and the General Administration Building auditorium and was developed by The Council on Public Legal Education of Washington.

The Storypath curricula was developed out of concern that youth were uninformed about the workings of democracy or that they even have a role to play in their government.

Numerous national studies have shown a strong disconnect between American youth and civic engagement. 

“A democracy thrives when its citizens vote, show up for jury duty, engage in public life, are aware of civic issues, listen to other viewpoints, and interact with lawmakers,” said Margaret Fisher, a member of the Council on Public Legal Education and the lead coordinator for the Civic Learning Initiative. 

Fisher is also a staff member of the Administrative Office of the Courts as coordinator for education and outreach efforts.

Students ran presidential campaigns
Photo by Karen Nicholson
The two classes have participated in a Social Studies Storypath on the election process, learning about our government, political parties, platforms, the electoral college and culminating with the election of a president in each of the two classrooms.

The classes were invited to the capitol to have the two presidents sworn in by State Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mary Fairhurst, in the Temple of Justice in Olympia.

The presidential swearing-in will be one of the highlights of a unique summit in Olympia kicking off an ambitious Civic Learning Initiative in Washington — a statewide effort to improve civic education for all Washington students with the help of community groups, judges, businesses, government officials and advocates, as well as schools. --Full Court Press
Echo Vance was sworn in as President of the United States
by State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst,
assisted by Leila Mirzanejad while Governor Jay Inslee looks on
Photo by Monto Morton, AOC

The two “presidents,” Echo Vance and Enaaya Mahmood, addressed those present for the Initiative Kick-off describing their learning, and why they feel it is important to learn about our election process.

Enaaya Mahmood becomes President of the United States,
sworn in by State Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mary Fairhurst,
assisted by classmate Shelby Hatley.
Photo by Monto Morton, AOC

Echo Vance delivers her speech to a packed room
Photo by Monto Morton, AOC

After the swearing in ceremony the students had an opportunity to meet the Chief Justice and Governor Jay Inslee, chat and take photos.

The group was then able to tour the capitol, including the governor’s office, the House and Senate, and participate in a mock judicial hearing.

The Echo Lake students were the only students in the state invited to participate in this event.

TVW covered the event, which can be seen here.

Updated 1-29-17



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