BURLINGTON, Vt., Oct. 11 – Students from two Vermont high schools traveled to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston on Thursday, as part of “Vermont Day” organized by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). This marked the third time Vermont students have participated in the bipartisan Kennedy Institute’s innovative programming on democracy, civics and the legislative process.
Roughly 65 students from Twinfield Union School and Woodstock Union High School took on the role of a Senator-for-a-day in a full-scale replica of the U.S. Senate chamber. The immersive experience included researching public policy, introducing and debating legislation and working together to reach consensus.
Sanders addressed the Vermont students Thursday morning in livestreamed remarks from his Senate office in Washington.
Sanders, who serves on the Senate education committee, said he is “very impressed with the hands-on civics taught to students” at the Kennedy Institute. “It is vitally important that we engage our students to prepare them to be critical thinkers and future leaders,” Sanders said.
“It is no secret that we are living in some very trying times. It is more important than ever for our youth to be thinking about what issues are important to them, and how to bring about positive change in this country. What these students learn at the Kennedy Institute is extremely important because democracy is not a spectator sport. It is not something where you watch somebody else do it. Democracy means that you do it. You must be involved,” Sanders said.
Sanders organized the first two Vermont Days at the Kennedy Institute last school year. Schools and students that are interested in the next Vermont Day during the spring semester can contact Katarina Lisaius at Sanders’ Burlington office at 1-800-339-9834.
To view pictures from Thursday’s Vermont Day, click here