On March 8, the City of La Verne hosted a School Government Day for 70 students from La Verne Heights Elementary School. The program, led by Assistant City Manager JR Ranells and Community Development Director Eric Scherer, provides a unique, hands-on learning experience for area students.

“This program is an excellent opportunity for our young students to learn about local government and how it works,” said Mayor Tim Hepburn. “Democracy must be learned by each generation and I’m proud that the City of La Verne is contributing to the civic education of our local students, who were very engaged in the activities we had planned for them.”

Participating students were divided into two groups and rotated through various activities during the day.  At one station, students participated in a mock City Council meeting where they played the roles of Council members as well as residents. The kids roleplaying Council members followed a mock agenda with three discussion items, while other students were residents who presented their comments to the City Council. At the end of the activity, the mock City Council voted on each of the items.

Other activities included Mayor Hepburn speaking with the kids about the importance of local government and the role elected officials and professional staff play in delivering essential services. Students also had the opportunity to explore vehicles from the Public Works Department and Police Department, as well as interact with a model of the Gold Line development.

In preparation for the field trip, Assistant City Manager JR Ranells and Community Development Director Eric Scherer visited La Verne Heights Elementary School in February to provide a lesson on the basics of local government.

“For nearly 20 years, it has been my pleasure to lead this program and play a part in introducing La Verne students to how local government works,” said Assistant City Manager JR Ranells. “It’s inspiring to see young minds engaged and learning about local government, and I hope this experience will encourage them to become active participants in their community in the future.”

The City of La Verne has been hosting local students at City Hall annually for nearly 20 years. Through this long-standing program, the City has been able to build strong partnerships with local schools and provide valuable civic education to its young students.

Grace Miller Elementary School students will participate in a similar program later this spring. The City of La Verne remains committed to educating the public about how city government functions and looks forward to continuing educational programs for the community.