Illinois students learning about civic engagement and the democratic process

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) -  Students from across the state joined together for the 10th annual 'Our American Voice' summit.

Over 200 students met at the capitol to discuss their yearly civic projects. The 'Our American Voice' program spans from schools in Gurnee all the way to Springfield. 

Program director John Fontanetta says the program is designed to both instruct students on great citizenship and to get them to understand their government.

"It really helps the school connect with the community when often there is a separation,"  Fontanetta says. 

Fifth grade through high school students can participate in the program. 

Mattoon Middle School teacher Jeana Craft says the program is an awesome leadership opportunity for her students.

"People think kids can't do anything, and they are just amazing at what they come up with," Craft says.

Over 200 students are learning how to be active in their communities. Middle school student Devon Fisher says he feels like a better person being in the program. 

"This is the first time in five years I wanted to go to school. It is a privilege to be here," Fisher says. "'Our American Voice' actually helps people do things in the community instead of just doing nothing."

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