On Thursday, October 25, Neal Middle School hosted the Meet the Candidates Event where 800 Neal students gathered in the gymnasium to meet with and learn about ten candidates running for local office, including Mayor William “Bill” Bell.
Citizen Schools’ We the People American government apprenticeship co-hosted the event, supplying its apprentices to greet the candidates and ask questions during the assembly. The We the People apprentices prepared for the event by learning about local government, practicing professional greetings and crafting thoughtful questions under the guidance of volunteer Citizen Teachers from Fidelity Investments.
Citizen Schools was mentioned by many of the candidates during their introductory speeches and the group Q&A session. Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr., a champion of Citizen Schools North Carolina since its inception, stressed the value of Citizen Schools and its close relationship with Neal Middle School. When answering a student’s question about keeping students safe, Representative Henry M. “Mickey” Michaux, Jr. noted the importance of “programs like Citizen Schools” in keeping Durham’s children safe while also expanding their learning opportunities. Ellen W. Reckhow, Vice Chairman of the Durham County Commissioners, highlighted the partnership between the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) & Citizen Schools which creates a positive pipeline for Durham’s youth, strengthening their futures. Vice Chairman Reckhow also expressed her support for expanding Citizen Schools throughout Durham.
The Herald Sun reported on the event at Neal in this article by Wes Platt: Neal Middle School students get political as they meet the candidates.
Special thanks to Rachel Kerns, Deputy Campus Director at Neal, for capturing this story for CSNC.