Chesterfield County is offering a hands-on approach for citizens to learn about local government and tour county facilities. Registration is open for the new...

Chesterfield County is offering a hands-on approach for citizens to learn about local government and tour county facilities. Registration is open for the new Government Citizens Academy, which begins next month.

The Government Citizens Academy, free of charge for participants, offers a chance for the public to learn about the county, meet local government leaders and offer feedback about how the county is serving them.

“Providing citizens a comprehensive look at how and why local government services are provided enhances our ability to engage with those we serve,” said Susan Pollard, director of the Department of Communications and Media, which is hosting the academy. “By taking participants behind the scenes of their local government, we also aim to gain their perspectives on how we’re doing today and what our focus should be for tomorrow.”

Chesterfield County is offering spring and fall sessions of the Government Citizens Academy. The spring session will be held weeknights one evening per week, starting May 16 and concluding June 28, when the Board of Supervisors will recognize participants. The fall session, set for Sept. 19-Oct. 25, will offer classes during the day. Both sessions offer opportunities for additional optional tours of county facilities and points of interest.

Sessions are scheduled across the county in fire stations, libraries and school facilities, among others. The sessions are a mix of roundtable discussions and classroom settings with networking breaks built in.

Anyone can participate in the academy. Register by May 12 at www.chesterfield.gov/govacademy.