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‘If I were mayor’ – Student ideas encouraged

By Melissa Wagoner

Mayor Kyle Palmer is well aware that the future of Silverton lies not in his own hands, but in those of the city’s youth – a fact that he finds inspiring.

“I’ve spent 23 years coaching youth sports and had spent 18 years operating the veterinary camp where I used to work. I recognize and appreciate the perspective that young people have on the world around them, and know that generations of society have typically overlooked the contributions they can make,” Palmer explained.

Which is why, every year, when the annual, statewide, “If I Were Mayor…” contest rolls around, he gets more than a little excited.

“In addition to being a fun way for students in grades 4-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12 to combine a civics activity with the possibility of winning up to $500 cash, I truly believe that it is not a day too soon for these young citizens to be considering their place in this world and the impact they can make,” Palmer explained. Each age division has separate submission criteria.

“Grades 4-5 must submit their ideas in poster form (emailed as a .jpg, .bpm or .png file), while grades 6-8 must submit in essay form (emailing in Word, PowerPoint or Prezi form) and grades 9-12 must submit a digital media presentation (using MP4, Visme, Pitcherific or Videoscribe), Palmer detailed.

Submission are being accepted now through 5 p.m. March 18 for the possibility of winning $75 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for honorable mention in the local contest. There are also additional awards of $500 for first place, $300 for second place or $100 for third in the statewide competition. 

While Palmer recognizes that items like clarity, proper use of grammar and spelling and relevance to the topic are all expected, the contestants’ creativity is what he looks forward to most.

“Young people are less jaded and less restricted by the limits that age and experience often promote in our thinking and I’d love to tap into that more,” Palmer said. “This is their world – we’re simply its custodians for now. I think this contest is an incredible way to solicit their voices while using the activity as an opportunity to also start conversations about the world, about Silverton, about community. Conversations that need to happen!”

For more information, visit www.silverton.or.us or email [email protected].

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