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Friday, February 4, 2011

Olympia - Kids Teach Grown-ups How Legislation is Done!

Scene: Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee 
Meeting in Olympia
Thursday, 2/3/11 
State Capitol - Olympia
Chair Senator Rosemarie McAuliffe stated:
She is so impressed with the work of the students who testified and the proposal that she recommends something that has never happened before; in an unprecedented move, the committee voted on the Bill immediately and to have the Bill move to the next step in the process of becoming a law. She said "We've never done this before!" 

Students in 4, 5, 6th grades from Madrona K-8 School in Edmonds authored a Bill SB 5174 entitled 
"Encouraging instruction in the history of civil rights."  The Bill is co-sponsored by Senators Chase, McAuliffe, Prentice, Nelson, Kohl-Welles, Shin, and Kline.  The Madrona Program students had studied the civil rights movement, and were inspired. One of the students, Chase Simerka asked his grandmother, Senator Maralyn Chase, D- Shoreline to help his class craft a bill.  They wanted to do more to understand the history of the civil rights movement and help other students around the State to learn more and learn how to "make a difference" according to the classes joint statement. In a joint statement, The MLK Group said: 
We think we are lucky that we live in this time, and we have freedoms here.  We think it is important to learn about places and times that don’t have the freedoms we share.  If people don’t learn about the Civil Rights movement, people could take it for granted.  This might lead to the same things happening again.  We also learned that kids can make a difference, and we want other kids to know they can too.”
 On Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Sen. Chase introduced SB 5174. The bill was granted a hearing, and the students were able to participate through a live conference call and video presentation.  When the bill was voted on in committee the class erupted into cheers. 
MLK Group at Edmonds Madrona K-8

“I am very proud of the work this group of kids has done, meeting during recesses and after school time to work on this project,” said Judi MacRae, the group’s advisor.
To watch the video coverage of the kids testimony try this link.
For further information, contact MLK Group Advisor Judi MacRae at 425-431-2918.

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