Assemblyman Visits SHS Participation in Government Classes

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Students in Valley Stream South High School’s 12th-grade Participation in Government classes further explored the topics they have been studying during a presentation and discussion session with New York State Assemblyman Brian Curran. The public leader has visited the school each year as a way to provide students with a deeper understanding of various issues that affect society and to look at these matters from broad perspectives.

Assemblyman Curran touched on a number of political and governmental topics, all of which the students are learning about in their classes under the instruction of Peter Mastrota and Nicole Sweeney. He explained that ultimately, an elected official has to make a determination of whether a bill is right or wrong, and is responsible for considering what his or her constituents want.

Fully engaged in the program, the students asked thoughtful questions and shared their views with the assemblyman. Assemblyman Curran shared his own opinions on several subjects and discussed the ways that some laws and acts impact public education. He encouraged students to communicate with their elected officials and, most critically, to register to vote.

“Registering to vote is the most important thing you can do to be part of the process,” he said.

In closing, the assemblyman cited helping others as the best part of his job. He explained that he has been part of initiatives to aid victims affected by Superstorm Sandy, provide grants to support community athletic programs, ensure that schools have what they need in order to provide students with quality educations, and much more.

“I enjoyed having the chance to get a real feel of what it’s like to be an assemblyman,” said senior Shane Camacho. “We learned how he processes information that he gets from us.”

“I love talking to [the students] about government and politics and getting their young perspectives on so many topics,” Assemblyman Curran said.

Refreshments for the event were served courtesy of students in South High School’s Life Skills program. The Life Skills students generously treated Assemblyman Curran and all other attendees to a breakfast that they had prepared specially for the visit.