Seventh-graders at Delran Middle School got a visit from state Sen. Troy Singleton in early February that gave civics students an opportunity to learn how state and local governments operate.
Singleton hosted an assembly for nearly 250 students split between two sessions, one on how legislation is voted on and the other for the Delran resident to take questions from students.
The senator has hosted previous assemblies at the middle school to emphasize civics, and has also helped the district with other issues, according to Principal Michael McHale.
“It’s really important that our students get a good foundation in civics, so this is a great opportunity for them to be able to hear from an actual state senator, ask questions, find out some platform ideas and just learn a lot,” McHale said.
“He (Singleton) has always been helpful and gracious enough to give us some of his time, so we always appreciate when he’s able to stop by,” the principal added.
During the February assembly, Singleton called on several students for a mock demonstration on proposing and passing bills in the state legislature. He said interacting with people in the communities he serves is his most worthwhile endeavor.
“One of the things that I get excited about the most with my job is interacting with my bosses — that’s how we phrase the people that we work for — and being so close to home and in my home is always a pleasure,” Singleton explained.
“We want to instill a love and a passion for civics education and for the government, because we want people to understand their place in our democracy, and it only works when people are a part of it.”
While politics in general, and the wide array of issues that go with it, can often be contentious, Singleton wants to broadly introduce a basic understanding of how government works and the role each person plays in their respective communities.
“I think all of us in elected office have an obligation to try and destroy the level of cynicism that we see in government today,” he noted. “The best way to do that is to be in front of people and have them see it in a different light, instead of what they see on the internet or read in a newspaper … so then maybe individuals will want to change their community when they get older, most times just as an active and involved voter, because that’s the greatest role we can all play.”