The Good Citizens met with Gov. Phil Scott in his ceremonial office
More than 70 Vermont students who completed the 2018 Good Citizen Challenge gathered at the Statehouse in Montpelier on March 27 to be recognized for their accomplishment.
The Challenge invited K-12 students to earn points by doing a variety of activities related to civics, history, advocacy and media literacy — all crucial elements of being an informed citizen. These activities included attending city council meetings, picking up litter, reading local news articles, writing a letter to an elected official and naming the five freedoms specified in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Seven Days and Kids VTorganized the initiative, with support from the Vermont Community Foundation. Its goal? To incentivize youth to educate themselves about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, using their communities as a classroom. Students finished the Challenge by earning 251 points, the number of towns in Vermont.
The Statehouse event was part of their reward. The Good Citizens met with Governor Phil Scott in his ceremonial office and posed for a group photo.
Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson also addressed the group.
“I think it’s important for all of us to get involved and be good citizens, be public servants,” said the two-term Republican. And anyone can run for office, he said. “I certainly didn’t envision myself being in the position I am today when I was your age, not by a long shot.”
Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) also addressed the group.
Representative Peter Conlon (D-Cornwall) introduced the students from the House chamber floor; legislators gave them a round of applause. Afterward, each student received a medal, a T-shirt, a sticker and a pocket-sized U.S. Constitution, donated by Phoenix Books.
Legislators applauded the Good Citizens from the House floor.
Seven Days Deputy Publisher Cathy Resmer congratulated the Good Citizens. “You have just as much right to be in this building as anyone else here,” she told the students in the Cedar Creek Room. “I hope that’s something you’ll take away from your experience today. This might be your first time here, but I hope it won’t be your last.”
Find more information and sign up to receive updates about the 2019 Good Citizen Challenge at goodcitizenvt.com. The Statehouse event is the subject of the April 4 episode of Eva Sollberger’s “Stuck in Vermont” web video series. Find it at sevendaysvt.com.