Through a cooperative effort by the Butler County Administration, American Legion Posts and Auxiliary Units in Butler County, students from schools throughout the county convened in front of the Butler County Courthouse on Tuesday, November 16th to learn about the various functions of our county government and where tax dollars are invested.
Education is an important part of the mission of the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary because a democracy depends largely on its people being informed.
The Government Day program is geared towards informing high school students enrolled in Government classes within Butler County.
Greeted by County Commission Chairman Jeff Masterson, the students were told how the day would unfold. They divided into several groups and rotated through stations throughout the day.
Those stations were composed of the different administrative, executive and legal offices within Butler County.
Students sat in the Board of County Commissioners meeting located on the fourth floor of the historic courthouse and heard from the County Commissioners and GIS Mapping Department’s Director Pam Dunham. She shared an abbreviated history of Butler County with the students in addition to quizzing them on some well-known, and some obscure, facts of the largest county in Kansas.
At another station, students heard from Butler County Clerk, Tatum Stafford and her office. Students who were of voting age and unregistered, were given the opportunity to register to vote.
Emergency Management Director, Keri Korthals shared why the need for emergency preparedness was the responsibility of all the people.
And the Public Works Department was stationed in the parking lot and gave students an opportunity to learn what the department is responsible for as well as learning about the equipment they use on a daily basis.
Students also visited the Judicial Building and the Butler County Detention Facility.
For lunch, the students were treated to hamburgers and hot dogs at the Butler County Community Building. The lunch was hosted by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, and prepared by the Red Devil Chefs.
While there students heard from American Legion Post #81 Commander Steve Seymour, American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 President Karen Hasting, District 5 Auxiliary President Tracy Kinnick and State of Kansas Department President Annette Scheaffer. Each of the American Legion and Auxiliary members spoke on the programs, like Government Day, provided by the organizations. One of the programs available to high school juniors is Boys and Girls State.
American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are summer leadership and citizenship programs for high school juniors, which focus on exploring the mechanics of American government and politics.
Concluding the program, Representative Will Carpenter shared why he entered public service and encouraged each of the students to get involved in local government.
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