Frenchtown hosts eighth annual Democracy Day Tuesday

Educational event celebrates ‘hope of America’s future,’ focuses on first selectman race

Democrats and Republicans will come together at Frenchtown Elementary School Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Democrats and Republicans will come together at Frenchtown Elementary School Tuesday, Oct. 20.

The race for first selectman will play out in front of Trumbull residents over the next couple of weeks and in the hallways of the town’s schools, where its non-voting population will get the opportunity to see democracy in action.

That’s the goal behind Frenchtown Elementary School’s eighth annual Democracy Day, scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20.

“Each new face represents the hope of America’s future,” said Frenchtown Principal Jacqueline Norcel. “Now more than ever, our children need to see democracy in action. They need to know that, no matter what challenges we may face, the freedoms and ideals that embody the American Dream will go on, unchanged.”

The school, located at 30 Frenchtown Road, will host a variety of distinguished invited guests, including First Selectman Tim Herbst and his challenger, Town Council member Vicki Tesoro, Gloria Francesconi from the Trumbull chapter of the League of Women Voters, Connecticut state Sen. Tony Hwang, and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau have also been invited, Norcel said.

The program begins with a reception of guests, where the candidates will introduce themselves to the school’s third graders.

“This celebration of what is good about America is an important part of our educational journey in which students will learn about our democratic process, this year focusing on our town elections,” Norcel said.

“Our celebration of ‘Democracy Day’ this year will focus on the local election cycle, and the race for Trumbull first selectman,” she said.

The second half of the morning begins at 10 a.m. with an assembly for the fourth and fifth grade students in the school’s cafeteria.

Families and members of the general public are invited to attend and watch the candidates speak about the importance of voting, their histories, their political parties, their candidacies, and hopes for the town’s future.

Francesconi is expected to speak about the history of the League of Women Voters and its role in educating the public about democracy.

A week after the presentation by Francesconi and the challengers, Frenchtown students will watch upper-grade students in a mock election for the town’s highest elected office, Norcel said.

“We look to the namesake of our town as an inspiration for a life of public service and faith in the ideals that sparked the emergence of our great nation — the United States,” she said.

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