VUHS students visit the Statehouse

STATE REP. DIANE Lanpher, D-Vergennes, is flanked by VUHS students Clarinda McAllister, left, Audrey Tembreull, Calder Rakowski and Grey Fearon at the Vermont Statehouse earlier this month, where the students represented the Vergennes Fusion afterschool program.

MONTPELIER — Four students in the Vergennes Union High School-Fusion afterschool program traveled to the Vermont Statehouse on Feb. 13 to meet with the legislators and learn about how laws are made during the Vermont Afterschool & Summer Learning Day.
Youth Ambassadors Audrey Tembreull, Clarinda McAllister, Calder Rakowski and Grey Fearon had an opportunity to meet afterschool peers from across Vermont, participate in a youth advocacy and empowerment workshops, eat lunch at the Vermont History Museum, and tour the Statehouse.
The students from the various Vermont afterschool programs went into the House chamber. They heard the Afterschool Resolution and received standing ovations from the legislators.
They learned about bill S.335, the Afterschool Task Force Bill, which is sometimes known as the “Universal Afterschool” proposal. This bill proposes to create the Task Force for Universal Afterschool Access to consider and make recommendations on the framework for, the costs of, and related long-term funding sources for access to universal afterschool programs.
It passed the Senate and is under consideration by the House of Representatives.
What does that mean for Vermont afterschool programs? Advocates for afterschool programs will have the opportunity to talk with policymakers about the importance of afterschool as the bill goes to the House and when the task force convenes.
The Youth Ambassadors paraded together to the front steps of the Statehouse to take a group photo.
The VUHS youths met with Addison County State Reps. Diane Lanpher and Matt Birong Jr., both Vergennes Democrats, to discuss the important role of afterschool programs in the community.
Asia Kruse, the Fusion Afterschool Coordinator at Vergennes Union High School, encourages the younger generation to keep up with the dialogue on laws in the Green Mountain State. After all, they need all the help to spread the word, because, as Kruse reminds everyone, “Young people make a better Vermont.”

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