AIM Educates Fourth Graders on Legislative Process
“These fourth graders learned a lot about the legislative process in a very short amount of time,” said Ray McCarty. “I think even the adults in the group may have learned something about the legislative process.” During the mock exercise, McCarty divided the group into “House” and “Senate” members and appointed some student volunteers to committees. He also answered questions from the students about government.
During the exercise, the students watched and participated as a bill to establish vanilla ice cream as the state’s official ice cream was amended to include strawberry, chocolate, and even spinach (which drew groans of disapproval from the young crowd). Eventually, the “House” and “Senate” reached a compromise that deleted the “spinach” flavor and settled on ice cream that contained the other three flavors: Neapolitan. “It is important for students at this age to have a visual grasp of all the hard work that is necessary to pass a bill, why so many bills do not pass, and why some bills end up completely different than they started because of the need to compromise,” said McCarty. “I think they learned a lot about legislative strategy and compromise in a very short amount of time and it was a pleasure to help them understand the legislative process.”