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Tuesday
Jun022015

2015 Spring Field Trip - DAY 3: Our Day at the State House!

Day three of our field trip was a VERY big day! We were scheduled to be at the State of Maine complex for the entire day as a group and our schedule was jam-packed!

We had a hearty breakfast, an up-beat morning meeting lead by the Frenchboro School, and then it was time to get in our best, most official looking outfits and head to Augusta. Heck with Mr. Smith Goes to Washington... the TLC is going to the State House!


As usual our group was split up into different age groups for the day. The youngers got to tour the State House and check out all the official looking offices that seemed oh-so-important to them all!

The kids just wanted their picture taken with anything and everything that looked "official." It was so sweet to watch them look around in awe.

They were all on their best behavior during the tours... which is a lot to ask of these young ones. Our TLC students are always ready to rise to the occasion! 

The youngers and the middle grade students also got a tour of the Blaine House which they all thought was rather fancy. I heard A LOT about the gold chandeliers!

After all of the tours the youngers participated in some programs through the Maine State Museum.

They went on a 12,000 years of Maine tour AND got to make their own arrowheads. 

While the youngers were having tours and hands-on programming the olders spent their entire day at the State House... working! They served as honorary pages during the Senate hearing for the first two hours of their day.

But before they were put to work they got the opportunity to tour both the Senate and the House of Representative chambers. They even got to bang the gavel!

The students were hosted by Senator Langley, who is the representative for the Cranberry Isles. He and his staff helped set up our day at the State House and we so appreciated their hospitably! 

Our students also got the opportunity to meet Michael Thibodeau, the president of the Senate. President Thibodeau came and greeting each of the students before the Senate hearing began. 

When it was time for the students to start paging they were brought in and recognized by the entire Senate. Boy, did that make them feel important!

As Pages, our students performed such duties as delivering messages to Senators and distributing amendments and supplements in the chamber. The students had to sit at the front of the Senate and literally watch for Senators to raise their hand. If they saw a Senator do this they quickly and quietly went to that Senator and took whatever document and/or note they needed delivered to another official in the room. 

I was completely surprised how busy they were kept during their paging experience. As one student summarized later in the day, "Paging was kind of like helping Senators text, but in an old school way!" The kids were constantly up and down, delivering messages and passing out documents. Some of the kids had to deliver messages to the House of Representatives all the way on the other side of the building. It was such an awesome opportunity for our students to see what it’s like to work on the floor of the Senate and be part of a Legislative Session. 

After a fun lunch in the State House cafeteria (some students may say THAT was the highlight of their day!), it was time to head to the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee Meeting where the TLC olders were ask to give a presentation about the TLC. 

I am pretty sure I was more nervous than the kids since I knew what a HUGE moment this was for the TLC to present to a group of legislatures who actual make a HUGE difference in the world of education. When we practiced the presentation we assumed that all the students would be standing together as a group at the front of the room, but the set up of the committee room was different from what we imagined. Instead, each one of our students had to come up to the podium and speak into the microphone by themselves when it was their turn to present. I was so nervous that this new way of presenting would throw them off their game...

But like the rock stars they are, our TLC students walked up to the podium with confidence and grace. They spoke clearly and slowly. And they acted as if they were born ready for this presentation.

They gave their presentation about the TLC, most without a script. Many students had to stand out their tippy-toes to reach the microphone. They were confident, eloquent and sincere. They answered questions and obviously impressed the committee with their presentation skills and their love of the TLC.

 At one point one of our 7th grade boys was explaining how many students we had in the TLC. At the end of his explanation he went off script, leaned into the microphone and said, "And I am really proud to be one of those students." That gave me goosebumps. 

What a high we were all on after that presentation. Our students nailed it.  There are no real words to express how proud we are of these students and of how far we have come as a TLC.

Wow. What a day.

I really loved reliving it all over again.  


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Reader Comments (1)

Amazing thing. Congrats

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

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