LUDLOW — Senator Eric P. Lesser and Representative Thomas M. Petrolati congratulated students at Paul R. Baird Middle School on Thursday for earning honorable mention in C-SPAN’s nationwide “StudentCam” documentary filmmaking competition.

Eighth-grade students Liz Goncalves, Braeden Vermette and Kendyl Vermette created a documentary film about the opiate epidemic titled, “The Opioid Drug Epidemic, Our Nation in Crisis.” The students’ research included interviews Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, other local law enforcement leaders and a nurse practitioner who appear in the film.

“It was so inspiring to see these students tackle an issue as serious and complex as our opiate epidemic, and grapple with the questions it raises for the lives at stake. I look forward to sharing their film with my colleagues to see how it can inform our work in the State Senate to conquer this epidemic,” said Sen. Lesser, who serves on the Special Senate Committee on Addiction, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Options.

“I am impressed by our students’ commitment to this important project and their determination to see it through. The opioid epidemic is affecting every community in state and our country, and it’s important for our young people to be aware of and informed about this crisis. It will take all of us to solve it,” said Rep. Tom Petrolati.

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