By CHRIS CAMMALLERI
Every year approximately 150 students are selected from across the province to serve in Ontario’s Legislative Page Program.
The application process involves hundreds of young students writing an essay explaining why they think they would be successful in the program, and how they can contribute.
This opportunity to experience the province’s parliamentary system first hand at Queen’s Park is offered to Grade 7 and Grade 8 students in Ontario that have displayed a good performance in their schooling and a desire to learn.
Beach resident Ally Hao was one of the students who took on the role of Legislative Page this year.
After weeks of preparing and memorizing, she said she took to the program well.
“It’s really good, very fun and all the people there are extremely friendly to me,” said Hao of her session as Legislative Page at Queen’s Park which wrapped up earlier this month.
“My favourite thing I did during this program was actually meeting all the MPPs, listening to debates happening during question period, and all the orders of the day. It’s very interesting listening to all the conversations.”
The excitement in her voice when describing her experience was clear to hear, although she did admit to being a bit overwhelmed at the start of her journey.
“I was very nervous because I didn’t know what to expect on orientation day and I was scared that I would mess up, but I did really well with all the other people helping me and supporting me.”
All those involved in this program, including the coordinators, are extremely proud of the impressive performances from the young pages.
However, nobody could ever be prouder than the parents of the youngsters involved.
Millicent, Ally’s mother, has been helping her daughter through every step of the way and is encouraged by the progress made by all the pages
“They were definitly scared initially but they make it easy and comfortable for them. The kids all know as pages that there’s a job they have to do,” said Millicent.
Despite the time commitment required; students involved in the program are still not exempt from their school homework. Both teachers are coordinators work together to help the participants stay on track with the rest of their classmates back at school.
The Legislative Page Program that Hao took part in started on Nov. 18 and ended on Dec. 12 when the Ontario Legislature adjourned for a two-month winter break.
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