On behalf of students in Grades 5-8 at Barstow Memorial School in Chittenden, I’d like to extend a sincere thank-you to all of the candidates and media who attended this year’s election fair. Organized and run by eighth-grade students for their peers, they were able to meet and ask a variety of questions of candidates running for a variety of offices, including U.S. Senate, governor, state Senate, state representative and secretary of state. It was a wonderful experience to bring politics into their world.

The work began in September when students decided on how the event would be structured, and continued in their sending invitations out to a number of candidates of all political backgrounds and beliefs. Thursday was a culmination of their hard work and study of the U.S. government and election process. They also invited a variety of media to attend and cover the event, which included Vermont Public Radio and the Rutland Herald.

This event made it possible for students to put a face on their government and to really see the small town values of our state at work. It’s a special experience for a 12-year-old to meet candidates and politicians whom they read about online or hear on the radio and for these students, it really brought home what they had been learning about. Also really important for them to see was how many candidates all running for one office were able to be civil, and in some cases, downright friendly to each other in this age of nastiness in politics.

A sincere thank-you for giving up precious campaigning time goes to Christine Hallquist, Trevor Barlow, Brad Peacock, BC Collamore, Scott Garren, Greg Cox, Ed Larson, Cheryl Hooker, Jim Condos, H. Brooke Paige, Jim Harrison and Gina Ottoboni for their participation. We hope to do this again in two years and that it is bigger and better.

Jamie Gallagher

7/8 grade humanities teacher

Barstow Memorial School

Chittenden

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