2008-07-31 / Letters to the Editor

Thanks to those who helped with civics lesson

We would like to thank Barbara Szepatowski who facilitated a class civics project conducted by the eighth grade class at Lawn Avenue School.

In June, the eighth grade Project Citizen Project selected the Jamestown Animal Shelter out of 42 projects from across the state at the Project Citizen State Showcase to go on to the National Project Citizen Showcase in New Orleans.

Students responsible for this project were Dan Gorelick, Daniel Jennings, Danny Bailey, Ivy Burns, Nicole Perez, Sydney Keen, Ellen Bednarczyk, Sarah Smith, Nick Lutes, James Perry, Shay Reilly, Ryan Rosa, Christian Ellerbe, Shannon Sheeky, Charlie Wooley, Shane Farrelly, Matt Demieri, Christian Kowoluchuck, Josh Sheehan and Anthony Will.

Students were asked to identify a problem, research it, propose solutions, and an action plan to implement the selected solution. Szepatowski supported the project by facilitating the student's research and encouraging students to participate in the political process with a presentation to the Town Council.

In addition, Rhode Island was selected to represent New England at the conference and four students from Jamestown were selected to represent their class at the National Conference of State Legislatures in New Orleans. They were joined by four students from West Warwick's Deering Middle School. These students were selected on the basis of their exceptional participation throughout the entire project process. The Jamestown students were Sarah Smith, Ellen Bednarcyzk, Emily Levy and Sydney Keen.

From July 22 to 25, these students presented to state legislators from around the country including House Speaker Murphy of the Rhode Island General Assembly. Sarah Smith later represented the group by participating in a panel discussion at an educational session for state legislators.

My thanks to the students, parents, Szepatowski, the Town Council, School Committee, Center for Civic Education, National Council for State Legislatures and state coordinator Mike Trophi for affording the students of Jamestown a powerfully engaging experience. Maureen McGuirl Jamestown Lawn Avenue School

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