On April 28, 30 students from Lakeland Elementary School took a day trip to visit the Texas State Capitol building in Austin, where they met with Local District 141 Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson.
Lakeland Elementary School Principal Lucy Anderson said the trip came about after she visited Austin with other Texas principals for the Raise Your Hand Texas Conference and met Thompson. “I met Representative Thompson during the conference, and she is truly remarkable. When we planned our student trip, she lined up a tour of the Capitol building for us and she also spent about an hour talking with our students and sharing her story during our visit.”
Many of the students who attended the trip participate in the Lakeland Student Council. Lakeland Student Council co-mentor and teacher Richarria Benton said, “Through the student council, we have introduced them to the whole election process. We went through the nomination and election process for officer positions. Those who are in fifth grade who were nominated filled out an application and drafted and delivered a speech. Then, the students decided as a group who would be best for each position (president, vice-president, etc.).”
Patricia Perez, Lakeland fourth grade teacher and co-mentor of the Lakeland Student Council, said the kids really enjoyed the Capitol tour. “They were mesmerized when they first walked in, because it’s an extremely old building and they were intrigued by the rotunda. Many of the fourth and fifth graders mentioned having learned about the Texas Revolution (that was discussed on the tour) during Texas History in fourth grade. A few of the students mentioned they would like to work in a building like the Capitol, and we discussed the different jobs that people perform in the Capitol building. Representative Thompson’s intern gave us a Capitol tour and they were very curious about him and his education. We were really happy the kids got to witness the House in session. The kids were able to relate to how the House meeting was similar to our student council meetings.”
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