Henrico’s Student Government Day offers ‘spark’ for civic engagement

For more than six decades, event gives students access to county, school operations

Students from Henrico’s high schools got a firsthand look at their local government and public schools administrations Wednesday during the county’s 62nd Student Government Day.

The program matched 122 students from all nine high schools and The Academy at Virginia Randolph with elected and appointed officials, including members of the Board of Supervisors and School Board, the county manager, superintendent, judges and department directors. Students spent the day learning how Henrico general government and Henrico County Public Schools work on behalf of residents and others to provide services and to address needs of the community.

“Local government works best when citizens are informed and fully engaged in the decision-making,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “For more than six decades, Student Government Day has given Henrico County youth a seat at the table. We hope this experience provides a spark that encourages our students to think critically, to ask questions and to participate in their community in ways they may not have thought were possible. This vibrant program, which is supported by dozens of outstanding teachers and other staff, reinforces Henrico’s commitment to its youth, and it demonstrates the amazing partnership that exists between the county government and Henrico County Public Schools.”

Student Government Day opened Tuesday with an investiture at Hermitage High School in which 33 students swore the oaths required for their assigned positions. Students spent Wednesday with their designated departments and agencies. Some also toured Henrico’s Jail West and registered to vote.

For students who worked at the Henrico Government Center, the day included a student-run, mock work session and mock meeting of the Board of Supervisors. The students reviewed proposals to allow the installation of solar panels on several county buildings and to develop an aquatics center in partnership with the YMCA of Greater Richmond. They also learned about Henrico County’s new mobile app and the county’s internship program.

The Kiwanis clubs of North Richmond and Tuckahoe are sponsors of Student Government Day.

Attached photo: Students from Henrico high schools work alongside county officials during a mock meeting of the Board of Supervisors as part of Henrico’s 62nd Student Government Day.

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