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I would like to invite young Hoosiers in the Fort Wayne community to visit the Statehouse and serve as a Senate page during the 2014 legislative session.

The Senate Page Program is a special opportunity to witness the legislative process firsthand, get to know state legislators and listen to debate on important issues.

The 118th session of the Indiana General Assembly begins January 6, and pages are welcome Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays through March 14.

Middle and high school students who participate in the one-day page program will tour the state capitol, work with Senate staff, meet their senator, and observe up-close what they've learned about in textbooks or heard on the news. This is an impactful program for students who are interested in politics, government, education, health care or any other sector of the economy.

Because legislation affects every industry, during session the Indiana Statehouse becomes a hub for executives and representatives from all fields, from manufacturing to banking to farming. Students will be exposed to these varied career areas, meet new people and experience the vibrant Statehouse culture. We also hope the program sparks their continued interest in our democratic government.

It's always a joy to welcome Fort Wayne-area students to the Senate and give them a glimpse of how their state government works. I hope to see many students take advantage of this unique opportunity during the upcoming session.

Students may apply online at www.indianasenaterepublicans/page-program or send me a letter expressing an interest in the page program beginning December 16. Letters can be addressed to Sen. David Long c/o Indiana Senate, State of Indiana, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204.

All requests need to include the student's name, address, home telephone number, age and school affiliation or homeschool status. Friends wanting to page on the same day should send requests together.

After the page office processes the requests, students will receive confirmation of their scheduled dates to serve. Participating as a page is an excused absence from school.

The page program is a great learning tool for all students, and I encourage parents, neighbors and teachers to spread the word.

I look forward to meeting the next generation of Hoosier leaders at the Statehouse this winter and spring.


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