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Lessons in civic responsibility: New Hartford students meet elected officials
Nov. 15, 2023
Fifth-grade students at Bradley Elementary School recently had the opportunity to interact with local government leaders in an effort to promote citizenship and elevate student voice.
New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, Oneida County Legislator Caroline Gable Reale, and City of Utica Mayor Robert Michael Palmieri visited with students to share their knowledge and experience as elected officials and answer students’ questions.
“As part of our federal, state and local government unit, we felt that instead of simply explaining to students what politicians do, it would be much more impactful to have government leaders come in and give a firsthand account of how local government works,” said fifth-grade teacher Alissa Morreale.
On Nov. 7, Senator Griffo discussed with students his political background, the importance of election day and how students can participate in government to effectuate change.
The senator currently represents District 53 in the New York State Senate and serves as the Assistant Minority Leader and is the ranking member of the Senate's Higher Education Committee. He also serves on the Transportation, Rules and Finance committees.
During a joint visit with Legislator Reale and Mayor Palmieri on Nov. 13, the political leaders discussed with students the role of local government and how students can influence decision-making at the local level by collaborating with mayors, town board members and county representatives.
Representing District 15 in New York State, the legislator currently serves on the Economic Development and Tourism, and Health and Human Services committees. The mayor has served in his current position since 2011.
“After these visits, the students became more energized about issues facing our community and what they can do to help,” said Morreale. “They are very excited about voting in the future and some students have even mentioned that this is a career path they would like to follow.”
The New Hartford Central School District is committed to providing an engaging, student-focused environment where everyone can learn, succeed and values excellence, innovation, citizenship, and integrity.
In February 2023, the district adopted a five-year strategic plan which, in part, prioritizes an educational system that supports student voice.