C-SPAN bus stops in Mahoning Valley during tour of the country
By Jordyn Grzelewski
Bold letters on the side of C-SPAN’s bus declare that the television network is “where history unfolds daily.”
On Tuesday, Mahoning Valley students learned about some of that history when the bus paid a visit to Poland Seminary High School and Boardman High School.
Students toured the C-SPAN bus, which is in the midst of a trip to 50 state capitals to mark the network’s 25th anniversary. In addition to the videos and interactive activities provided by C-SPAN, students also heard from speakers who talked to them about local government and civic engagement.
“The idea behind the C-SPAN bus is to showcase resources for students,” said Doug Hemmig, C-SPAN community relations representative.
The bus contains more than 2,000 hours of content, which students were able to explore Tuesday.
“The main thing is to create that awareness, so they can learn what’s going on in Washington,” Hemmig said.
The visit was made possible by help from Armstrong. C-SPAN partners with local cable providers to plan such events, and Armstrong suggested the Mahoning Valley as a good place to visit.
Local officials helped students understand what’s going on closer to home.
At Boardman High School, students heard from local and state officials, including township trustees, state Rep. John Boccieri of Poland, D-59th, and state Sen. Joe Schiavoni of Boardman, D-33rd.
At Poland Seminary High School, speakers included representatives of township and village government.
Township Trustee Joanne Wollet explained how township governments in Ohio operate, and how local government services are managed.
Township Administrator Jim Scharville emphasized the importance of civic engagement.
“You better register and get out to vote. Don’t say your vote isn’t important,” he said, noting that the township’s first tax levy passed by a single vote.
“Local government impacts you. Local government makes you a better citizen. Local government makes your community a better place to live,” he said.
Marik Rogenski, a PSHS senior, said he was most interested to learn about local politics.
“It’s interesting learning who runs the place,” he said. “I live in the village, so it affects me personally.”