C-SPAN Bus informing Sioux Falls students about the federal government


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Memorial Middle School students in Sioux Falls are getting a front-row seat to democracy thanks to a 45-foot bus. C-SPAN’s award-winning, interactive vehicle is in town showing off the channel’s 40-year history of covering the government. 

Sofia Kovalenko and her sixth-grade classmates are getting a big surprise at school. 

“We saw this ginormous tour bus and we were like, ‘Wow, that’s so big.’ We were not expecting that. Then we got on and everything is so high tech. It was really cool,” Kovalenko said. 

The C-SPAN bus brings Washington, D.C., and the federal government to life with 360-degree video and interactive features. Representative Joel Bacon says the company’s goal is to provide an unfiltered look. 

“We are a non-partisan form of media where we just show what’s going on and then don’t tell you what to think about it so people can make up their own mind,” Bacon said. 

Kovalenko likes that. She wants to be an environmental lawyer or a French pastry chef when she grows up.

“Yeah because I think it’s important for every person to have their own opinion about the government and not just get told what to think,” Kovalenko said. 

This is the second day for the bus in Sioux Falls.  On Monday, it was at Lincoln High School and Augustana. It’s all in an effort to educate students about their government. 

“You’ve heard this thing called your federal government. You think it might be in Washington, D.C., but if you actually wanted to learn about it, where would you go?” Bacon said. 

Bacon says C-SPAN has 250,000 hours of searchable video on its website for those hoping to discover more. 

Kovalenko says government and politics aren’t usually main topics of conversation for her 11-year-old friends. 

“Some people talk about politics but not everyone,” Kovalenko said. 

The C-SPAN bus has been traveling the country since 1993 visiting schools and communities. The bus is off to Des Moines next. 

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