Another Group of Citizens Successfully Complete Medford Academy

Last week, the Winter 2023 Medford Citizen Academy students were recognized for completing the program during the City Council meeting. They also received a certificate of completion for this accomplishment.

The Medford Citizen Academy is a free, eight-week program designed to give participants an inside look into how the City’s local government works and the services we provide. Each week, students spent time with a different department, where they learned how it operates and then participated in a hands-on activity. 

The first session, City Government 101, kicked off with students getting an overview of the City’s departments. Then they met Mayor Randy Sparacino and City Manager Brian Sjothun, who both talked about their roles and why our local government is essential. The session concluded with students receiving a tour of City Hall and the Lausmann Annex. 

Next was the Building Safety session, where students learned about how the department helps residents with building permits, inspections and business licenses. Then students took on the challenge of creating earthquake-proof buildings using toothpicks, marshmallows and Jell-O.

Week three was the Planning and Developing Our Community session, where the Planning department discussed housing and community development, current and long-range planning, and the Medford Urban Renewal Agency. Then students participated in a group activity where they came up with a development plan for a site on N. Riverside Avenue.

The following week was the We Keep Your City Healthy and Active session with our Parks, Recreation and Facilities department. The department gave students a tour of the Santo Community Center and highlighted some of its recreational programs. This session’s hands-on activities included a self-defense demonstration and students developing their own neighborhood park. They also received a t-shirt for their participation. 

Halfway through the Citizen Academy was the Public Works session, Students got to see how city streets signs are made, traffic signals work, and much more. They also received their own personalized street sign during this session.

Week six was the Dollars and Sense session, where the Finance department talked about its financial services and budget process. Students were then tasked with creating a two-year budget for the Public Works department.

The next week, students headed over to the Medford Police Department for the We Keep Your City Safe: Pt. 1 session. MPD explained some of the different services officers provide and the work that goes into protecting the community. This session was also a great opportunity for students to see a demonstration from the K-9 program and Drone Response Team.

We Keep Your City Safe: Pt. 2 was the last session of the program, presented by the Medford Fire Department. Medford Fire gave students a tour of the station, showed them some of its fire operations and gave a lesson on fire prevention. Some of the activities during this session included going for a ride on the aerial platform and knocking down a small fire. 

Students were encouraged to provide an evaluation at the end of each session and the program, in which the feedback will be used to help enhance the program’s experience. One student wrote, “This has been wonderful and informative. Thank you for taking the time and resources to do this!” 

Another student wrote, “It’s been great to connect with all of the departments and learn more about what they all do!”

To apply for the Fall program, click here.

Source: City of Medford

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