About the Institute

June 15, 2017

In partnership with Senator Bernie Sanders, first Vermont school visits the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

Twinfield Union School students visited the Institute on Wednesday for an interactive program and live debate

BOSTON – The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate welcomed a class of 16 eleventh graders from Vermont’s Twinfield Union School on Wednesday for a two-hour tour and immersive program on the workings of the Senate.

Twinfield’s visit came after Senator Bernie Sanders visited the Institute earlier in 2017 for a discussion as part of the Institute’s Getting to the Point series. At the time, Institute President Jean F. MacCormack mentioned to Sanders that, to date, no Vermont schools had participated in the Institute’s programs. Sanders committed to contacting Vermont high schools to encourage them to consider participating in the Institute’s educational opportunities.

“I am very pleased Twinfield Union School has become the first Vermont school to visit the Edward M. Kennedy Institute,” U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said. “The Twinfield students participated in an innovative hands-on program aimed at showing how the U.S. Senate works, encouraging participation in our democracy and helping inspire the next generation of leaders. At a time when many people feel alienated from the political process and when voter turnout is much too low, it is vitally important that we engage young Vermonters to prepare them to be critical thinkers. I hope more Vermont schools take advantage of this exciting, new educational resource.”

During their visit, Twinfield Union students stepped into the role of Senators-for-a-day, and joined visitors for a mock vote on the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act. The bill, sponsored by Senator Wyden (D-OR), would establish taxes and regulations on marijuana sales, similar to those imposed on alcohol.

“Through our educational programs, students from schools like Twinfield Union have the opportunity to learn about how the Senate works in an engaging and interactive way,” said President MacCormack. “They must navigate controversial issues by finding common ground, and advocating for their beliefs. We are thrilled with Senator Sanders' enthusiasm and support for civic education, and know that Twinfield Union will be the first of many Vermont schools to take part in our student programs.”

Vermont schools that are interested in participating in a “Vermont Day” at the Kennedy Institute during the 2017-2018 academic year are encouraged to contact Katarina Lisaius at Senator Sanders’ office, at 802-862-0697 or Katarina_Lisaius@sanders.senate.gov.

Photos of the visit are available for media use here.

About the Edward M. Kennedy Institute

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic lives of their communities. To learn more about the Institute, please visit emkinstitute.org.

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