All 8th grade students participating in YAG are assigned to the Civic Leadership Institute. The core focus is to provide an environment for students to openly debate issues important to them, work collaboratively to learn about government and participate in mock sessions. For example, students receive training on the process of writing and debating a legislative bill. After this training, students work together to write bills, conduct committee hearings, and debate in a mock legislative session.
CLI Activities at State Convention
Through various training sessions, students gain a greater understanding of how the Judicial branch functions, how a bill becomes law in the Legislative branch, and what role the press can have in government. After these sessions, the students have the opportunity to simulate each area by conducting trials, writing and debating bills, and acting as reporters to develop stories. The Civic Leadership Institute brings to life what the students are learning in the classroom. By participating, students experience the government processes they have been learning about in school, thus enhancing their knowledge of the subject.
Students take on many roles during the Civic Leadership Institute. All students participate in small group discussions on key issues facing our state. Students serve as legislators as they write a bill, debate it in a committee session, and vote on legislation. Some students have an opportunity to serve in leadership roles, such as committee chairperson or committee secretary. A mock trial provides an opportunity for students to be attorneys as they provide the closing argument to a case in front of a panel of advisors serving as judges. Students also learn about the press and executive branch.
All 8th grade students participating at Missouri YMCA Youth and Government are assigned to the Civic Leadership Institute.