The RSU #20 Afterschool Program’s Student Advisory Board has been campaigning strongly against the use of tobacco products. They have studied the dangers of tobacco use, conducted rallies in their schools to raise students’ awareness and have discussed local and state laws with prominent local officials including City Manager Joseph Slocumb and Mayor Walter Ash. Recently, the students travelled to Augusta, at the invitation of Representative Joseph Brooks, for a tour of the State House and a visit with some state legislators. They started off their tour in the Taxation Room where they were greeted by Representative Brooks, Representative James Gilway, and Senator Mike Thibodeau all from the Waldo County legislative delegation. Representative Richard Farnsworth, the chair of the Health and Human Service Committee, visited with the children and discussed tobacco legislation with them. All were given legislative mementos including the State Legislators’ Handbook and a legislative pin.
After discussing the dangers of tobacco products with the legislators, the students, guided by Reps. Brooks and Gilway, toured the State House of Representatives and the State Senate where they received a standing ovation from all of the state’s Senators. The culmination of the tour was a surprise to all- an impromptu meeting with Governor LePage in his private conference room! The Governor spent approximately 20 minutes with the students answering questions, talking about the importance of doing their homework and discussing their favorite sports….and his!
The students returned to their individual schools after lunch full of stories of their exciting day. As two students were dropped off at Ames Elementary School in Searsmont, they ran down the hall to the principal’s office yelling “Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Miller, we just met with the Governor, he gave us each a pin in the shape of the State of Maine and we had ice cream on the way home!” This will be a day that these 10 students will long remember.
The RSU #20 21st Century Community Learning Center Program is an afterschool opportunity located in selected schools throughout the district. It assists students in their math and literacy studies and offers enrichment activities. For more information, call (207)548-2320 or inquire at your child’s school.
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