EMK Institute to launch new programs for students

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is launching two new educational programs designed to teach students about how government works and give them hands-on experience creating bipartisan legislation.

The programs will be aimed at different age groups. The first, “Pathways to Citizenship,” will task fourth through eighth graders with drafting an immigration bill concerning the path to citizenship for different groups of undocumented immigrants including DREAMers and refugees.

The second, the Conference Committee program, will simulate a joint session of Congress to teach 11th and 12th graders about negotiation and finding common ground between contrasting interest groups. Each program has the goal of showing students the keys to effective government.

“Through an immersive experience as senators for a day, the students who take part in the Institute’s Pathways to Citizenship and Conference Committee programs learn why compromise and civil dialogue are essential when seeking common ground solutions on complicated issues with those who think differently than you,” said Mary K. Grant, president of the Institute.

“We hope that the students who partake in these new offerings will better understand how our government works and, beyond that, why their participation in the democratic process is critical to its success.”

The institute is offering the programs, which are in line with state Common Core curriculum, at no cost to all Massachusetts students. Teachers or groups interested in participating can learn more at emkinstitute.org and make inquiries via studentgroups@emkinstitute.org.

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