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Citizen's College: How government works

By Gary Simpson
Posted Thursday, January 26, 2006

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Knowledge is Power!

Informed citizens knowledgeable of the workings of local government are better able to create the quality of life that will benefit both themselves and the whole community at large. Over 400 years ago English philosopher and author, Sir Francis Bacon, declared that, “Knowledge is power.” Approximately 200 years later Thomas Jefferson declared that, “Information is the currency of democracy.”

Thinking of information as currency, Chathamites are invited to, “pay yourself first” by enrolling in Citizens’ College: How Government Works. It’s the payoff for investing a small amount of your time (33 hours over 11 weeks) and dollars ($25 or scholarship) in an enlightening and enlivening environment where Chathamites gain information about the workings of local government that can empower them to be more knowledgeable, involved, and effective citizens. Chatham Citizens’ College can impart the information, experience and motivation necessary to lift average citizens to a new level of responsible and rewarding citizenship.

The initial Spring Session begins March 16 and continues each Thursday evening from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. through May 25, and links citizens with governmental department heads and other guests at a variety of sites with an interesting line up of topics. People from High School Juniors and Seniors to Senior Citizens will come from throughout the county to learn from individuals, panels and through interactive experiences. A light meal will be served at each session. Citizens’ College will “graduate” its first class on Saturday, May 27, and begin a new session in the Autumn of 2006. Citizens’ College: How Government Works, is an intergenerational and interactive learning program of Chatham Citizens for Effective Communities – Institute, Inc.

Community leaders endorse Chatham Citizens’ College:

Dr. Anne Hart, Superintendent Chatham County Schools
Citizens’ College is a marvelous opportunity for community members to become well versed in local government concepts and issues. From elementary grades through high school, students learn about history, government and current events. Along with academic objectives are lessons on citizenship, character building and remaining a lifelong learner. Citizens’ College will foster these academic and social lessons. It will build upon the foundations we teach daily and encourage our citizens to take a more active role in local government.

Karen Allen, EdD-Provost Central Carolina Community College
The strength of our community depends on active citizen involvement. I am thankful for the efforts of Citizens’ College to provide a forum to educate Chatham County residents on the pressing issues, policies and procedures that will affect us in the years ahead. I am confident that this will be a very positive and enlightening experience for the participants, and will pay valuable dividends to the entire community.

Gabriel Soltren, Community Outreach Coordinator for GoldKist Corporation
The program being offered by Citizens’ College is enough to get you energized about being a resident of Chatham County. Where else can you get an overview of our county and town governmental departments all under one roof? Citizens’ College promises to bring a variety of people together with local leaders and will surely generate a wealth of information. If you want to know more about the infrastructure of Chatham County, this is the place to be.


Telephone 919.932.3132 –or-letter to the address above –or- -or-, then Citizens’ College and print out and fill in the form for mailing to the address below.
Applications due by February 15

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