Pretty soon after the holidays, January will be one of the biggest months for paging. That will be because the 2020 regular Legislative Session will be starting at the Capitol. It’s when many important political figures from around the state come together for 60 days to help make decisions at our capitol.

According to the official West Virginia Legislator page, the Page Program takes place during a regular session and is supposed to involve teens in the process. Sixth through 12 graders can participate and apply, and the point of it is to serve the legislators by getting things for them, like food, drinks and delivering papers. Since legislators aren’t permitted to leave their seats, pages are there to get things for them.

“Being a page is a great opportunity for students to get a front row seat to the legislative process,” said Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha. “Legislators are required to stay in their seats to vote, and pages assist members in retrieving everything from copies of roll-calls to a cup of coffee. Being in the chamber watching laws being passed is a valuable chance to see democracy in action.”

It’s a good way of observing the process and getting some experience in it as well. It’s usually a fun activity and you can meet new people by doing it.

The next few months are going to be prime time for it, there will be many chances to do it, and a lot of serious topics will be brought up, too. If you don’t know much about the process, this would be a good opportunity to learn about it, and you can ask as many questions as you’d like.

Personally, I’ve been a page before. It felt surreal to be walking around while the session was in motion. While I wasn’t paying too close attention to what was being discussed, it was fun to be a part of it. I recommend it for when you have a day off and nothing to do, and maybe want to know what’s going on at the Capitol. It’s a good way of getting an up-close look at what’s happening.

It might help you become interested in a topic if you want to look further into it, and help you get involved. Having more young people involved in the process is important, for our own futures and for West Virginia. By letting ourselves know more about what surrounds us, we can make what we want for the world real. And a good way to do that is to know about what runs our country, and how we can change it. The program may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it’s a first step into knowing about our democracy and being involved so you too can change it.

If you’re interested, you can get an application at: http://www.wvlegislature.gov/Educational/page_program/HOUSE_PAGE_APPLICATION.pdf