The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Akiva School Council Visits the Tennessee Council

The Tennessee Capitol was bustling with activity when a group of fifth and sixth grade officers from the Akiva Knesset (student government) visited last week. Knesset members had the unique opportunity to participate in the state governing process firsthand. During their time at the Capitol, the students observed a legislative session in progress and had the chance to interact with state representatives and senators.  

Kelly Love, a Knesset faculty advisor accompanying the group, said that Knesset members were interested in understanding our local government better. To help facilitate this, Ms. Love brought in local lobbyist, Theo Morrison, to talk with students, and arranged a meeting with Senator Heidi Campbell and Representative Caleb Hemmer. “By learning about their roles as citizens, students can develop a sense of responsibility,” remarked Love, adding that “Understanding local government is crucial for students to fulfill their civic duties and actively participate in local politics.”  

While touring the Capitol, students also had the opportunity to actively participate in the democratic process by serving as pages on the floor.  Meital Kullock, a middle school student at Akiva, and the sixth grade class representative in the Akiva Knesset, was thrilled by the experience. Kullock excitedly shared that, “It was eye opening to see our government work in real time. Meeting Senator Campbell and acting as a page was thrilling. It’s a field trip I will never forget.” 

The trip not only provided a glimpse into the workings of government but also fostered a sense of civic responsibility among the students. By actively participating in the democratic process, they gained a deeper appreciation for the principles upon which our nation was founded. As Love noted, the students’ time at the Tennessee Capitol was not just a field trip, “but hopefully a stepping stone towards becoming active participants in shaping the future of their communities.” 

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