State senators from across Oklahoma will be spending time in local classrooms—the visits are part of a nonpartisan program called America’s Legislators Back to School, sponsored each year by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The program is officially kicked off during the third week of September and continues throughout the school year.
The program gives children and teens an opportunity to meet an elected official and find out first hand exactly what a legislator does, how laws are made, and the importance of becoming an involved citizen. The goal is to encourage more young people to vote when they become 18, and to participate in the political process by volunteering or possibly running for office some day.
NCSL and the Oklahoma State Senate provide material for the students to help them learn more about state government and how the legislative process works. Younger children receive workbooks with fun facts and simple word puzzles, while older students are given more in-depth material.
Senators who are participating so far in this year’s program include Sen. Cliff Aldridge, Midwest City; Sen. Don Barrington, Lawton; Sen. Sean Burrage, Claremore; Sen. Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, Oklahoma City; Sen. Kenneth Corn, Poteau; Sen. Brian Crain, Tulsa; Sen. Johnnie Crutchfield, Ardmore; Sen. Mary Easley, Tulsa; Sen. John Ford, Bartlesville; Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, Durant; Sen. Tom Ivester, Sayre; Sen. Constance Johnson, Oklahoma City; Sen. Clark Jolley, Edmond; Sen. Ron Justice, Chickasha; Sen. Debbe Leftwich, Oklahoma City; Sen. David Myers, Ponca City; Sen. Jonathan Nichols, Norman; Sen. Susan Paddack, Ada; Sen. Andrew Rice, Oklahoma City; and Sen. Anthony Sykes, Moore.