Frenchtown School celebrates Democracy Day

On Oct. 21, Frenchtown Elementary School celebrated its seventh annual Democracy Day.

It was attended by First Selectman Timothy Herbst, state-wide candidate for state treasurer, Superintendent Gary Cialfi, Assistant Superintendent Michael McGrath, many members of the Trumbull Town Council, Board of Education, school administrators, teachers, parents, students,and the greater community. This annual event fosters a renewed awareness and appreciation for an early start in participating in our democratic system, according to school staff.

“Democracy Day is a celebration of what is good about America,” according to the school “It is the culmination of a journey of learning during which the democratic process, our form of government, and the specific races being held each year, become very tangible for the students.”

Later, students will participate in a mock election for the Gubernatorial race, our 4th District U.S. Congressional seat, and the race for Connecticut State Treasurer.

Over these seven years, the program has grown. Fourth District Congressman Jim Himes, himself a candidate when he first attended in 2008, this year was represented by Libby Carlson, a senior campaign aid. Also in attendance was First Selectman Herbst.

Among the office holders and seekers who visited classrooms to read books and field questions were current State Rep. Tony Hwang, Probate Judge T. R. Rowe, and State Rep. Dave Rutigliano, all of whom have participated in Democracy Day in the past; state Pep. candidates Doug Sutherland, Laura Devlin and Tara Cook-Littman were also present. Along with Matt Reale, candidate for Probate Judge.

Gloria Francesconi from the League of Women Voters spoke about the origins of the LWV and the important role it has played in promoting our democracy for the greatest number of people.

The day began with office holders and seekers reading to students in their classrooms, immediately followed by opening remarks by fourth grade teacher Joseph Fiore. Carlson and Herbst introduced themselves, and then answered questions from a 10-student panel.