Local middle school students will have a chance to shine at National Civics Bee

Apr 12, 2024


Some local middle school students will have a chance to show off their knowledge Saturday at the first-ever National Civics Bee hosted by the Chaldean American Chamber of Commerce and Chaldean Community Foundation.

“We wanted to help promote civic knowledge and get the youth involved,” said Chaldean Community Foundation Strategic Initiatives Manager, Stacy Bahri. “These middle school students are going to have the opportunity to vote soon and I think this helps them to become engaged and really allows them to demonstrate their civics knowledge.”

The National Civics Bee competition will take place at the Chaldean Community Foundation and will feature three rounds of competition.

In the first two rounds, participants will be asked multiple choice questions and have 30 seconds to answer. Five students will advance to the final round and will be asked questions about their essays that were written as part of the application process to participate in the National Civics Bee.

“We would love to have more people come to the National Civics Bee and watch it live,” said Chaldean Community Foundation Events Coordinator Jubilee Jackson. “The audience will have opportunities to participate in the first and second rounds and there are some audience prizes as well.”

The students in the top three places will advance to the state competition in Lansing where they will have a chance to move on to the National Civics Bee.

There are 14 middle school students participating in Saturday’s event.

“It is our first year to participate and we are proud to be one of six Michigan chambers of commerce to be part of the program,” said Bahri.

Jackson said the Foundation has been working to organize the event since October. The first step was inspiring students to write the essays required for participation.

“There were a lot of layers,” said Bahri. “We promoted the event to students through community centers and libraries just to get the word out and get them excited about the opportunity because it is the first of its kind in Michigan.”

Judges will be Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski, Chaldean Chamber/Foundation President Martin Manna, and Warren Consolidated Schools Board member Susan Kattula.

“This really sparked my interest because I wondered why they were engaging such young future voters, but then when I thought about it I realized that this is a great way to get kids interested in community involvement,” said Kattula. “There are so many kids every year who are just so excited to register to vote.”

The Civics Bee gets underway at noon April 13 with the final round expected to begin at approximately 1:15 p.m.

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