Both Legislative Experiences include LEAD’s foundational curriculum, taught by trained instructors. They cover topics such as Laying a Biblical Foundation, Ambassadors for Christ, Christian Citizenship, Worldviews in Action, and Debate and Communication.
Throughout the Legislative simulation students actively engage in:
• Critical and Strategic Thinking
• Speech Writing
• Public Speaking
In the House Track students begin their LEAD experience by being sworn-in as members of the House of Representatives. Students are challenged to think critically about current issues through role-playing as state lawmakers and discussing actual bills from the Iowa legislature. Each participant is assigned to a committee and a caucus, and each caucus has one bill to support and one to oppose. They learn the process of how a bill becomes a law as well as the responsibilities of citizenship.
Each caucus utilizes the LEAD Media team to bring attention to their sponsored bill by calling a Press Conference.
Student legislators hear testimony from lobbyists during committee meetings in the Capitol Building, oftentimes chaired by real State Senators & Representatives. Students can ask tough questions of the lobbyists, and gain valuable information on their bill.
LEAD climaxes when students assemble as a legislative body in the Iowa Capitol to debate and cast their votes on the issues considered throughout the week. Family members and friends are invited to watch it all from the gallery!
Tracks planned for future LEAD program:
Second year students or Onsite Program alumni can attend the Senate track. This advanced legislative experience allows student legislators to amend their bills, both in committee and during the final legislative session. The amendment process is much more challenging, and the strategies vary for each caucus. Senators convene for their own final legislative session in the Iowa Capitol. They also get to act as reporters during the press conferences given by the House Track students.
The Media Track, which happens during all three weeks of LEAD, is responsible for covering all of the events that take place at SSI. The students who participate in the print side of the Media Track, the LEAD Observer, publish a daily newspaper that their peers are eager to read. The broadcast side of the Media Track, LEAD News on Location, produces three broadcasts during the week. Students love reading about themselves in the paper and seeing themselves on the video screen during the SSI News on Location broadcasts.
The level of creativity is inspiring, especially since most students start with little or no media experience. The alumni who sign up for the Media Track dedicate themselves to keeping the public informed about what is going on in the LEAD world. They cover everything including lectures, special speakers, caucus meetings, press conferences, trips to the Capitol, recreational activities, Committee Hearings, final presentations, and much more.
Three times a week, LEAD News on Location presents a broadcast complete with news anchors, special features, and sometimes even a commercial or two. The students in this track use cameras and editing software.
Media students focus on:
• Journalism and Reporting
• Writing and Research
• Videography and Photography
• Media Ethics
Acting as reporters, students conduct interviews with VIP’s like the Secretary of State or an actual Supreme Court Justice. They also create stories using video and audio. The Media Track is one of LEAD’s most dynamic learning environments.
Like each LEAD track, experts coach the students. These include reporters, press secretaries, and communications specialists who volunteer their time and expertise.