WEST ORANGE, NJ - Why wasn't third grade like this when we were in school? Third graders in West Orange Public Schools have been taking field trips to Town Hall to meet with Mayor Robert Parisi, tour the Police and Fire departments, and learn about local government. Dubbed "Government Day," the students, who have been studying local government in their social studies classes, got some first hand experience.
On Friday, May 9, third graders from Redwood Elementary School spent the morning with Mayor Parisi, who taught them about local municipal government in West Orange. From Township Clerk to Mayor, students learned about the different jobs that make West Orange run. As each job was discussed, a student was selected to 'fill' that seat, until students sat in seats representing all township functions.
The children were engrossed in the discussion and process, which took about 45 minutes and helped them understand what it actually takes to make a town run smoothly and efficiently.
Following their meeting with the Mayor, the students proceeded to the West Orange Police Department, visiting the Communications Center where the 911 calls come in, as well as the jail cells where arrested persons are temporarily incarcerated until their release or transfer to another facility.
They then visited the Fire Department offices and saw the township's fire truck, along with a West Orange First Aid Squad vehicle.
Students came away with a better understanding of township government, and township employees enjoyed the company of some enthusiastic third graders.