SPRINGFIELD — During the week of Constitution Day on Sept. 17, which marks the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, Senator Eric P. Lesser embarked on a two-day tour of elementary schools in his senate district to highlight the importance of civics education.
At each school, he spoke with students about the job of a state senator and read “Madam President,” an illustrated children’s book by Lane Smith. In the book, a little girl imagines what her day would be like if she were the President of the United States.
“It’s important for students to have memorable civic experiences early on if we truly want them to be active, engaged citizens in the future. Young people shouldn’t feel hopeless or helpless, they should feel powerful. In high school, I helped organize students and teachers to save teachers’ jobs that had been cut because of budget decisions made miles away in Boston instead of in our own community. We won that fight because we got engaged. The lesson is you can make a difference no matter what age you are,” Sen. Lesser said.
Sen. Lesser spent Monday morning at Meadowbrook Elementary School in East Longmeadow, Center School in Longmeadow and Robert R. Litwin School in Chicopee.
On Tuesday, he read to third-graders at Swift River Elementary School in Belchertown, East Meadow School in Granby and Chapin Street Elementary School in Ludlow.
Earlier this year, Sen. Lesser introduced legislation that encourages school districts to teach civics and news media literacy. It directs the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish voluntary pilot programs to test the curriculum on news media literacy and include a civics participation project at least once in elementary school and at least once in high school.