SVVSD students learn about democracy from community leaders

About 65 St. Vrain Valley eighth graders came together with community leaders Tuesday to wrestle with difficult problems and develop solutions through the Doing Democracy Day program.

“We want to teach them how to be engaged citizens and learn how policy is made,” said Emily Swallow, a social studies teacher at Altona Middle School. “They can have their voices heard and listen to other voices.”

The program, now in its 10th year, offered both a middle school and a high school session this year, both at St. Vrain’s Innovation Center. This was the first year for a middle school event.

Kent Willmann, an instructor the University of Colorado Boulder’s School of Education, was one of the founders of Doing Democracy Day when he was teaching social studies at Silver Creek High School. The event, the brainchild of CU political scientist Ken Bickers, is designed to spark student interest.

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