Senate and House pages simulate the job of a state legislator
in a mock committee hearing during page school.
“In all honesty before coming here, I had no interest in government or politics. After this fantastic experience, I can actually see myself doing something here in the capitol. The Page School hearings were definitely my favorite part…..It was such a cool experience sitting in the chairs and speaking into the microphones. I really felt like my vote made a big difference; it seemed as though I was doing something important. I really enjoyed the opportunity of being both the chair and a committee member…and being able to verbalize my opinion…I loved it.”-
“Another chance I had to understand Washington’s government was writing my own bill. This gave me a behind the scenes look at how much work and thought is put into bills that, as residents, we take for granted.”-
page program has long been a staple of the Washington State Legislature. Many
staff members, legislators, and even congressional representatives got their
first taste of politics as a page.
Though the complexion of the position has transformed over time, the
reliance upon pages to make the legislature run smoothly has never waned. In the early years of statehood, pages worked
long hours and had duties that included tending the horses and cleaning
laundry. This evolved into a position
that centered on distribution of printed materials on chamber floors and
between member offices.
modern page experience has morphed into an interactive lesson in civic
education through the vessel of their administrative tasks. Pages see all three branches of government in
action and interact with the state officials who are involved in the decision-making
process. The Page School provides support
by explaining the whirlwind of activity going on around them. It also creates a structured forum to practice
the civil discourse they see on display.
We hope that the access and experiences these pages will promote
lifelong habits of being active and involved participants in the world around
main focus of the Page School is to provide a meaningful learning experience
for each page. We designed the curriculum to cater to the needs of our diverse
population. The assignments align with
the state Essential Academic Learning Requirements and Grade Level Expectations
(EALRs/GLEs) for Civics and Social Studies Skills, grades 7-12. Class activities allow pages to pursue
aspects of government that specifically interest them, intertwining technology
with solo and group work. Fascinating
conversations arise from the differences and the similarities shared from all
corners of the state.
encourage the students who serve as pages to return to their hometowns and
share their experiences from the legislature with their classmates and
community. Each page writes a self-reflection as their final assignment that
can be used a talking point. Page’s mock
committee hearings are available on the TVW website and examples of projects can
be seen on Twitter @WACivicED.
Thank you for your support,
Leo O'Leary & Sarah Vatne
Please call (360) 786-7889 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about our program.