As you may have guessed, I think that municipal government is a pretty important thing, and I think I can be fairly safe in saying that my colleagues in City Hall would agree with me on that. Every year we see numerous grade six classes from around Calgary in Council Chambers, and in the corridors of Old City Hall. They visit as an enhancement to their Social Studies curriculum, and get a little taste of what a City Council meeting is like.
Since I arrived at Old City Hall I have been intrigued by the notion that Grade Six students in Calgary are studying Municipal Government and wanted to know what they would say about it in their own words.
In the early spring of 2013 I decided to indulge my curiosity. I invited all of the grade six students in Ward 14 to submit a one page essay on the topic of municipal government which would then be submitted to my office. An overall winner was chosen, and the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards were born. I held the second edition during the winter and spring of 2013.
There is no shortage of prizes for the overall and individual class winners, not least of which are the zoo passes and an introduction in Council for the overall winner's entire class. Given the level of skill and knowledge displayed by the over 300 youngsters that have participated, those prizes are well deserved. Phrases like "Even though I may be 11 years old, municipal government affects me just as much as it will when I am 40 years old," and "The government does not take their jobs lightly... This is a lot of work to take on but people with a love for their City will do it," are uplifting and certainly welcomed by those of us who put our heart and souls into this City.
Claire Mikuska of Willow Park School was the deserving winner of the inaugural Ward 14 Wordsmith Award in 2012. She appeared in a City Council meeting (video may not work on all web browsers) on June 25, 2012 to receive her award.
How does Municipal government affect my life? by Claire Mikuska
Katherine Wolfe, student at St. Philip School in Parkland and resident of Lake Bonavista, took home the 2013 Ward 14 Wordsmith Award. She was also recognized by the Calgary Catholic School District. I presented her with the award in the April 22, 2013 meeting of the Council.
Why should I care about Municipal government? by Katherine Wolfe
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.