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"Great American Comeback Tour" Visits Vineland Elementary School

History comes to life again as the Supervisor of Elections, Hon. Paul A. Stamoulis and his staff travel to Vineland Elementary School.  On Wednesday, November 4th, at the invitation of second grade Instructor, Ms. Karrie McGuirk, Paul and some of his characters, once again allowed students a peek into American history and the importance of Democracy and voting.  The current unit being explored by the second graders is on colonial America and the movement west which leads into their unit on immigration.  A perfect fit for the "Great American Comeback Tour."

In two sessions, with three second grade classes in each session, and a fourth grade class that also enjoyed the presentation, students interacted with the characters of the Tour.  Paul began each session with an open discussion, tailored to the second graders, about our Founding Fathers and other significant iconic characters that helped shape America.   Amazed by the knowledge that these second graders brought to the discussion, Paul was overheard saying “WOW, you have really been studying about the significance of colonial times and the shaping of America.”

He then asked the students if they would like to meet some of the characters they had identified as playing an important role in colonial times.  Excited and oh so curious, the students watched in amazement as one by one, Ben Franklin (Lou Spacco), and Betsy Ross (Diane Verdon) appeared and spoke to the group.  An interactive question and answer session followed.  The second graders looked on in awe as the characters they had been learning about stood in front of them and spoke.  Several of the students were heard to say “I wonder who will come out of that time capsule next?”

     

 Ben Franklin (Lou Spacco)

 Betsy Ross (Diane Verdon)

 The Statue of Liberty (Randy Ann Bechtel)

The school's unit on colonial America led into their unit on Immigration, and who better to represent freedom, democracy and immigration than Lady Liberty herself.  The Statue of Liberty (Randy Ann Bechtel) appeared, once again requesting that she be able to lower her torch and speak, since she was now at Vineland Elementary instead of on her pedestal on Liberty Island.  The students listened intently as the statue came to life and spoke of her experiences since being presented as a gift from France.

Second grade Instructors, Ms. Melissa Southwell, Ms. Carol Shelosje, Ms. Karrie McGuirk, Ms. Nancy Swartz, Ms. Jill Cokkinias and Ms. Alice White, along with Media Specialist, Ms. Carol Aspelund (and her group of fourth graders) welcomed the presentation and the impact it had on their students.  Hon. Paul A. Stamoulis and the characters he helped bring to life were duly impressed with the enthusiasm and level of awareness the second graders displayed. “Well students, I hope that you enjoyed speaking to Mr. Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross, and Lady Liberty.”

Paul concluded by reminding the students of the importance of registering to vote, and of exercising their right to vote once they came of age.  “Democracy and the freedom to vote is the foundation upon which our great Country was built!”  Students and instructors applauded as the characters and Paul thanked everyone for allowing them to visit Vineland Elementary.  The "Great American Comeback Tour" will return to Vineland, visiting the fifth graders with an even larger cast, in the coming weeks.