(Jersey City -- March 25th, 2019) The Explore Middle School Student Council was invited to spend the day at Guttenberg City Hall to celebrate Student Government Day.
Student Government Day was created to assist students in developing an effective civics education through local government. By participating in Student Government Day, the students learned the roles of the Town Council and city staff by conducting a portion of a Town Council meeting, learning the mechanics of self-governance, and participating at the local level.
Each of the student council members was assigned a government role and spent the day fulfilling their responsibilities. Students were assigned roles such a Mayor, Councilperson, Town Administrator, Town Attorney, Town Clerk, Director of Finance, Public Safety Director, and members of the public.
7th grader Sarah Khiri was assigned the role of Director of Finance, currently Jaqueline Diaz. “Taking a trip to Guttenberg City Hall was an amazing opportunity for all of the student council members. I believe we learned so much about the process of daily changes in our community. We took part in the process in which the council votes on community changes and the Mayor approves. Now I understand why it’s important to take voting seriously.”
“I spent time with the Director of Finance and I really enjoyed what we did. I learned the process of getting funds for community progress and changes. At the end of the day, I started thinking that this is a career I may pursue in the future. Ms. Diaz works so closely with the Mayor to make changes for their community. I love the idea of helping people and I always enjoyed math so the idea of working to help my community in a field I love seems like a great idea.”
The students were given these roles in order to participate in a mock Town Council meeting with the current members in office assisting along the way. During the mock Town Council meeting, the students were tasked with considering the adoption of new mock ordinances such as having a police presence at all Hudson County Schools of Technology schools.
Through discussing the ordinances and debating whether to vote for them or not the students developed an understanding of local city government and how to participate in community affairs. Additionally, the students were able to see how the government can and does affect lives.
Mayor Wayne Zitt was excited to host the student council. The students made a lasting impression on Mayor Zitt and all those involved. “It was great to interact with the Explore Middle School Student Council. The teachers from Explore did an excellent job organizing the event with our staff. The students came well prepared and ready to work. I was very impressed with their agenda and their knowledge about current topics and issues. We were left with no doubt that these students are tomorrow’s future leaders!”
“I was very impressed and proud with the way the student council participated in such a great learning experience. It seemed the students enjoyed themselves and were able to gain a lot of knowledge!” Ms. Angela Cirillo, student council advisor, shared.
“I’d like to thank everyone at City Hall for all they did for our students. A very big thank you to Guttenberg Mayor Wayne Zitt, Town Administrator Cosmo Cirillo, Councilwoman
Monica Fundora, Councilman Richard Delafuente, Lt. Juan Barrera, Michael Jimenez, Town Clerk Albert Cabrera, and Fiscal Officer Jacqueline Diaz.”