I was delighted this week to host the winners of my 2015 “Be a Senator For a Day” summer reading contest at the Michigan Capitol.
Thirteen students from Huron, Macomb, Sanilac and St. Clair counties traveled to Lansing with their parents to participate in a mock swearing-in ceremony and committee hearing and a guided Capitol tour.
This year’s contest was held throughout the summer and was open to all first- through fifth-grade students who completed their local public library’s summer reading program.
I appreciate the participation from the nearly 300 competition entries my office received. It’s terrific to see so many young people excited about reading! We randomly selected the winners from each participating library.
Research has shown that children who develop a love for reading do better in school and are more successful later in life. Our local libraries are helping instill this appreciation for reading through their summer reading programs.
After taking their “oaths of office” in the Senate chamber and a tour of Michigan’s historic, 137-year-old Capitol, the “junior senators” vigorously debated the merits of a hypothetical bill to require uniforms in Michigan’s public schools in a mock committee hearing that I chaired. Ultimately, they voted 5-8 against passing the “bill.”
The 2015 contest winners are:
• Jillian Bussone, fourth grade, home school
• Avery Cutcher, fifth grade, Brown City Elementary
• Jack Davis, fourth grade, Krause Elementary
• Nathan Flanagan, fourth grade, Sandusky Elementary
• Troy Livingston, fifth grade, Croswell-Lexington Schools
• Evan Martin, fourth grade, Palms Elementary
• Lane Morris, fourth grade, Yale Elementary
• Gabrielle Nelson, fifth grade, Kimball
• Ava Norman, fifth grade, home school
• Raven Peplinski, third grade, Bad Axe Elementary
• Isaac Powell, fifth grade, home school
• Hallie Smith, fifth grade, home school
• Kya Vettraino, fifth grade, Palms Elementary
• Kyle Wetter, fifth grade, Capac Elementary
• Austin Wilson, fourth grade, Belle River Elementary
• Maria Zyjewski, fifth grade, Eddy Academy
Congratulations to all these students! I look forward to hosting more fine young readers again next year.