C-SPAN bus brings civics lesson to midstate

A C-SPAN bus that crisscrossed the country during last year’s presidential campaign, carrying the likes of presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Bill Richardson, stopped Tuesday at Mount de Sales Academy to give students a tour.

More than 200 of the private school’s students took turns peering inside at the bus’ television monitors and mobile production studio, learning how the cable channel covers the nation’s three branches of government.

The famous and not so famous have been interviewed aboard the bus, from students and authors to national leaders.

“A lot of times we’re thought of as the network that their parents watch,” said Rebecca Stewart, a C-SPAN staffer who led the tour. “This is a resource for social studies classes, to bring civics class to life.”

The 45-foot-long bus, which started its tour from Washington, D.C., on Jan. 21, will visit 100 schools in 100 days in recognition of the first 100 days of the new presidential administration.

It is scheduled to stop at Northside High School in Warner Robins today before heading to Greenville, S.C.

The bus also will travel through the Midwest before finishing up on the West Coast at the end of April.

“I thought it was a rare opportunity,” said Martin Hutto, a seventh-grader who waved to himself on camera inside the bus. “I watched C-SPAN during the election.”

The Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau helped arrange for the bus to come to Mount de Sales, its only stop in Macon, said Reg Rogers, a seventh-grade social studies teacher.

“It’s kind of cool,” he said. “We’re lucky being one of 100 schools chosen.”

Students learned how C-SPAN covers everything from the U.S. Capitol to presidential news conferences, and they received a memento: pencils and a ruler listing all the presidents.

To contact writer Julie Hubbard, call 744-4331.