Legislators buy books for island students
Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D-Dist. 13, Jamestown, Newport) and House Deputy Minority Whip Bruce J. Long (R-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) have purchased books for grades 4 and 5 in Jamestown schools, in conjunction with a Constitution Day program being observed in Rhode Island schools.
The Constitution Day program stems from a federal law mandating teaching about the United States Constitution in all schools. In addition, beginning this summer, the state Department of Education has been developing Civic Education Standards for all K through 12 students. This is the first step in a process set into motion by legislation passed by
the General Assembly during its 2005 session to have such standards in place by July, 2007.
The General Assembly's Permanent Commission on Civic Education - to help celebrate Constitution Day this year - asked members of the General Assembly to participate in a special schoolbook project. The legislators were asked to purchase a book titled "Constitution Translated for Kids" by Cathy Travis for as many fourth and fifth grade classrooms as they could in their legislative districts
At the request of the Civic Education Commission, the book had been reviewed earlier this year by grade 4 and 5 teachers around the state, who gave it wonderful reviews. Sen. Paiva Weed and Rep.
Long purchased enough of the $11 books for all the fourth and fifth grade classrooms in Jamestown, as well as one book for the town library. In addition, Paiva Weed bought 20 books for schools in the Newport portion of her district and Representative Long purchased books for schools in Middletown.
"I am happy to participate in this book program," said Paiva Weed. "This is a wonderful, well written book that will help make the Constitution come alive for young students."
Rep. Long said "This is a great opportunity to acquaint young students with the democratic process and to bring information about government and citizen participation into the classroom."