With the start of a new school year, the City of Weston is getting ready to begin another season of its “I Led the Pledge” program. This is the 19th year selected students from Weston schools will be invited to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of a Weston City Commission Meeting.
“Engaging students in local government and civic education has become a long-standing belief for the City of Weston,” states Director of Communications Denise Barrett-Miller. “Elementary students are invited to lead the Pledge and schools are also welcome to hold their Student Council induction ceremonies in our City Commission chamber. The Mayor has also sworn in many student government representatives.”
Every school in Weston, pubic, private, charter and parochial, is invited to participate in the “I Led the Pledge” program. Barrett-Miller says last year nine elementary schools participated. She says it’s up to each school to select the students. “We have had Student Council members, Safety Patrol officers, and even an entire fourth grade gifted class who sang the Preamble to the Constitution dressed in period costumes.”
In addition to exposing students to local government, the “I Led the Pledge” program allows the City of Weston to recognize its outstanding schools and provide a way for students to receive public recognition. Each student participant is asked their name, grade and why they are there. Family and friends can view the ceremony on WTV, Weston’s government access television station.
“The City Commission and staff, as well as audience members, get such pleasure from seeing the students and learning a little about them,” shares Barrett-Miller. “It is just downright heartwarming.”
For participating in the program, students receive a special “I Led the Pledge” t-shirt and a desk flag set containing an American flag and City of Weston flag.
The “I Led the Pledge” program is not the only way Weston welcomes student participation in local government. According to Barrett-Miller, “Since 2002, the City has offered the Weston University program each year for select high school students to provide a comprehensive look into state and local government. It truly benefits the community as a whole to involve students at an early age.”