While most students around the county were spending their three-day weekend watching movies, reading, or playing video games, Peabody-Burns seventh grader Sarah Spencer was busy working in the House chambers at the state Capitol in Topeka.
Sarah attended 4-H Citizenship in Action, an event where 4-H members worked on bills of their own.
Students chose from three bills to work on: making parents and guardians pay for all extracurricular activities; free college education; and raising the minimum driving age.
“I worked on the extracurricular activities one,” Sarah said. “It sounded interesting to me because I do a lot of sports in my school. But it’s not a real bill. It was just to learn how the government works and passes bills.”
One memorable moment for Sarah was going up to the podium real legislators use to discuss their group’s bill.
Although Sarah was nervous to talk in front of the crowd, she said it went really well.
“We did vote to pass them, but ours didn’t get passed,” Sarah said.
The event intrigued Sarah due to interest in government running in her family.
“My mom is the county clerk of Marion County,” Sarah said, “so I’ve gotten a better opportunity to learn more about government than some other kids.”
Monday morning, Sarah and her mother, Tina, got to meet with three Kansas legislators.
“That was a really good experience,” Sarah said. “I got to learn more about what they do for Kansas.”
Sarah and her mother also got to explore the Senate chambers.
“It was so neat,” Sarah said. “There was a big scoreboard and whenever they voted on a bill, the name turned green if they voted yes, and then the name turned red if they voted no. It was really neat to watch.”
Tina was also excited about the experience.
“I think it was a good experience for her and for me too,” Tina said. “I’ve never gotten to do that myself.”