Buzzing for Civics


The Farmington Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will be host to the second annual National Civics Bee in an effort to encourage more students to take an active interest in local government. Open to all middle-school students in Farmington, Bloomfield, Aztec, and Kirtland, the first round is an essay, due February 24th. The Farmington Chamber of Commerce is hoping for at least 100 essay submissions to better introduce the world of local business and government to area schools. The prompt and information about the contest is available online for anyone interested in applying. By Hannah Robertson This story is sponsored by Three Rivers Brewery and Boon's Family Thai BBQ

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What is one thing you would like to change in your local government? What roles does local government play in a community? What roles does the federal government play in a community? Farmington area Middle school students aim to learn and answer these questions and more questions as part of the United States Chamber of Commerce, Second Civics Bee. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by 3 Rivers Brewery and Boon's Family Thai Barbecue. I'm Haley Upshall.

So the Civics Bee is actually like a spelling bee or a geography bee except it deals with civics and government. And we got involved with the Farmington Chamber of Commerce when the US Chamber of Commerce and the New Mexico State Chamber of Commerce reached out to us to see if we would be interested in hosting one in Farmington. There are six other local or state civics bees in the state of New Mexico, and then we're the seventh. So we're the only one kind of in our area of the northwest corner of the state. This is the first year the Farmington Chamber has participated in this. And it's a great way to get middle schoolers not only engaged with the chamber in what we do but also with civics and their local government so that they can express their ideas on what they'd like to see changed in their community.

The Farmington Chamber of Commerce joins three other New Mexico Chamber of Commerce groups in sponsoring this year's New Mexico Civics Bee. One of Church's goals is to help kids learn more about what their local government is doing in the community. And the civics bee seemed like it would be the perfect fit.

I think most middle schoolers have things that are important to them and we want to hear what those are, but we also want them to understand there are things government can do and then there are things government cannot do.

To participate in the civics bee, interested students must first submit a 500 word essay on the topic of something you'd like to see changed in the community or something that is important to you and your community. All essays are due February 24th by noon, Mountain Standard Time.

This competition is open to any middle schoolers, sixth, seventh, eighth grade. They can be public schooled, homeschooled, private school, and it's the region. It's not just the Farmington district but also Aztec and Bloomfield and Kirtland as well. So again, the deadline for the essay is February 24th. Following the submission of the essays, then we will have a panel of judges who will review those. The top 20 essayists will be the finalists in that portion of the competition, and they'll be invited to compete in a live event.

Church hopes to see at least a hundred essays submitted for the essay portion of the civics bee and is working with local Farmington companies to provide prizes for the 20 selected essays. After the essay competition is a live competition run like a spelling bee and the top three finalists from the live competition will advance to the state competition with the finalists from the rest of New Mexico.

I hope to see our middle schoolers and high schoolers get engaged in that way as well and get involved and see that what's happening today is relevant based on what happened in the past. The other goal for me and why I'm excited about it, again is to get youth and high schoolers involved in what the Chamber does. They are our business leaders of the future. They are entrepreneurs. We are looking at a whole different landscape as far as where people are working. So much more remote work possible. So many more entrepreneurs. The last few years have really changed how we do business and I think that's just going to continue to change. So I just really want to get these business leaders of tomorrow involved in the chamber today.

Find more information about the civics bee at the Farmington Chamber of Commerce's website or follow the link for the essay submission and guidelines in the video description. Thank you for watching this edition of Local News Network. I'm Haley Opsal


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