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GIRLS STATE

Girls State is a seven-day hands-on experience in the operation and fundamentals of government. The program draws together the best and brightest high school juniors to help lead them down the path of individual success and leadership through doing, not just learning. The cost is $175 but our local American Legion Auxilary has agreed to fund this tuition cost. Applications will be available in the spring.

What is Girls State?

The American Legion Auxiliary believes that training our youth about the basic ideals and principles of our system of government will help to ensure the survival of our republic. Through a unique citizenship training program, Auxiliary members teach the youth of our nation to understand, comprehend, and appreciate their roles as United States citizens. This program is called Girls State. Girls State began as one and two day sessions in the late 1930's and since 1948 has been a regular part of the Auxiliary's Americanism curriculum. The program has grown form a few hundred participants to nearly 25,000 Girls State delegates annually. The Auxiliary has been recognized many times by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the National Association of Secondary School Principles (NASSP) for outstanding Girls State and Girls Nation programs.

How Are Participants Chosen?

American Legion Auxiliary Unit Girls State Chairmen evaluate potential leadership qualities of the delegates and alternates, assisted by high school principals and guidance counselors. Girls are eligible to attend if they meet the following criteria:
have completed their Junior year in high school are interested in government and current events and have high moral character possess strong leadership abilities have an above average scholastic standing have a desire to learn. These criteria may vary slightly from state to state. The number of girls in each state is determined by the state Auxiliary's available resources.

What Are the Goals of the Program?

  • To develop leadership and pride in American citizens to educate delegates about our system of government
  • Tto instill in delegates a greater understanding of American traditions to stimulate a desire to maintain our government processes.

What Does a Typical Session Include?

The citizens are divided into two mythical political "parties." The parties do not reflect the two major political parties in today's system, but allow citizens to gain a special knowledge of how the system works. Elections are held to fill city and state positions. Activities include legislative sessions, campaigning, party rallies, debating, and voting. The citizens also receive instruction in Parliamentary Procedure. This "hands on" method is unique and extremely effective. Girls State affords participants an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens by informing them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship and hopefully encourages their participation in the democratic process as they progress into adulthood. Add activities include: journalism, singing, talent shows, field trips, group devotions, and patriotic ceremonies.

How Are These Programs Funded?

The program is funded by each state's America Legion Auxiliary, with some additional support coming from other civic and non-profit organizations. The Girls Nation program is funded by the national organization of the Auxiliary, with some support from each participating state. Little or no expense is required of the citizen or her family.

For more information, the local contact for Girls State is:

Mrs. Linda Wilhelm
505 Ridge Road
Mahomet, IL
217.586.2319


 

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