Students from Cynwyd Elementary School's Challenge Program took part in the Youth Gubernatorial Forum sponsored by The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania on October 10, 2018. Their participation was guided by Challenge teacher, Dr. Melissa McGuire.
The students asked Governor Tom Wolf and his challenger, Scott Wagner, "How can you ensure a fair distribution of funding for schools, especially making sure that all students/schools have a safe, comfortable and enriching learning environment? Some schools do not have sufficient supplies, access to technology, air conditioning and buildings that meet safety codes. We want equitable learning experiences and excellence in education in Pennsylvania!"
In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, former Pa. Governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell explained the concept behind the Forum, "The overarching goal fits in with the other things we do at the Rendell Center: It's to get elementary school kids to figure out what the government means to them, thinking about voting, thinking about how democracy works — to become better citizens and better candidates themselves. You should feel the level of excitement that exists for the kids, getting a chance to ask the governor a question."
The Forum was broadcast live, so students at Cynwyd Elementary were able to cheer on their classmates and watch the candidates answer the questions.
Other participating schools were: Robert B. Pollack Elementary, Anne Frank Elementary and Edwin M. Stanton Elementary in Philadelphia and the Fox Chapel School District in Pittsburgh.