NEWINGTON – Does your child have big ideas about making the world a better place? What about just Connecticut?
State Rep. Gary Turco of the 27th House District has put out a call to elementary school and middle school students who live in Newington. He’s seeking their personal assistance with legislative proposals to improve our state, while offering them a chance to learn about state government and develop important critical thinking skills.
“One of the things I miss so much about being the State Rep. for Newington before this pandemic was when I used to have all the third-graders come up to the State Capitol,” Turco told the Herald Monday. “I got to interact with them, show them around the Capitol and listen to their ideas. They always had so many interesting things to say about what they’d like to see changed in our state.”
Since covid-19 shut down large gatherings of all types and state legislators are doing much of their business remotely these days, those special field trips are not happening in 2021.
That brings us to the Connecticut General Assembly’s first-ever Newington Youth Essay Contest.
Newington elementary- and middle school-aged residents are encouraged to address a given topic in an essay format.
Turco said his goals in launching this friendly competition are to increase local students’ understanding of government, encourage creative problem solving techniques and finally, to offer kids in Newington a voice at the Capitol.
The middle school essay topic is this: “What law can Connecticut create to improve in its efforts towards equality? The elementary school topic is this: “If you could create any new law in the state of CT to improve your community, what would it be?”
Essays should submitted by email to email@example.com by April 7.
One winner will be selected from the middle schools and one from the elementary schools.
“I hope I get some good participation,” Turco said. “I would like to personally read them all.”
Winners will be officially recognized by the General Assembly with a citation signed by the secretary of state, followed by lunch with Turco and a tour of the Capitol, after the covid-19 pandemic is over.
“I’m hoping to incite some creativity from the students and also just hear their ideas,” Turco said. “They have a lot of flexibility and also the potential to influence real legislation. I really want to engage the younger people with this.”
Only one entry is allowed per student. Parents can provide assistance with spelling and grammar, but essays must be crafted by the students themselves.
The format for submissions is 12 pt. Times New Roman font, double-spaced with 1” margins and the child’s name, school and grade written in the top left corner. Titles are encouraged to be a creative name for the proposed law.
Elementary school essays are limited to one page maximum, and middle schoolers can write up to two pages. However, essays of any lesser length will still be considered.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.