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Shaping future politicians and leaders in West Hempstead


A tradition at the West Hempstead Union Free School District’s George Washington Intermediate School continued on Feb. 25 when State Assemblyman Ed Ra visited to educate students on local and state government.

Fifth-graders assembled as Ra described the duties of an assemblyman, the district and towns he represents and the way laws are passed in New York. To visually demonstrate the process of passing a law, Ra had students play the roles of assemblymen and assemblywomen, senators and the governor advocating for a law to ban smoking at schools. The exercise helped the students discover that a majority vote and governor’s approval are needed to create a new law.

Ra also reviewed how the state’s government officials convene in Albany to discuss and pass laws. He detailed ways in which the budget impacts students and education throughout the state.

Following Ra’s discussion, students asked questions about the government and his work. Inquiries ranged from his favorite part of the job to the difficulty of his position and where he stays when in Albany.

“Assemblyman Ra’s visits are always impactful for our students to learn how the government affects their community, state and country,” George Washington Principal Michelle Notti said in a news release. “We thank him for his visit and look forward to the next.”

-Compiled by Nakeem Grant