Let’s celebrate and share the Virginia local government story with students and the greater community in April. Participating communities are eligible to win a great elementary school level book on local government services and further education on the importance of public service at the same time.
The 2012 General Assembly adopted House Joint Resolution #93 proclaiming the first week of April as Local Government Education week in honor of the founding of the Council-Manager form of government in Staunton, Virginia, in 1908.
The Civic Engagement Committee of the Virginia Local Government Management Association has developed tools for students — our future leaders — regarding good community building work, the services provided at the local level, and to increase awareness of career opportunities in local government. This will help us strengthen knowledge of local government management/public service as a vital part of our democracy, and possibly as a career path.
As part of this effort VLGMA asks each locality’s governing body to adopt a proclamation honoring this week. A template is available on the Civic Engagement webpage on the VLGMA website (http://icma.org/en/va/resources/civic_education).
Adopting a proclamation is a good first step, but there are many other activities to engage with the local school district and the young people of our community. We encourage each locality to develop an engagement plan that meets your local need. The Civic Engagement Committee has pulled together numerous resources that are posted on the website that include great elementary school level books, a high school teachers’ resource guide with lesson plans, and a report of various civic engagement best practices used by VLGMA members. Activities are not restricted to the first week of April but can occur throughout the year and be highlighted in April.