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NO. R-19. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO WELCOMING STUDENTS FROM THE ESCUELA MODELA IN SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO AND THEIR FAMILIES TO VERMONT.

(J.R.H. 9)

Offered by:Representatives Deen of Westminster and Darrow of Dummerston.

Whereas, in 1994, students at the Westminster West school in Westminster, Vermont undertook a project studying rain forests, and

Whereas, realizing that there is a rain forest in Puerto Rico, Claire Oglesby, a first/second grade teacher at the Westminster West school contacted Aura Ramirez, principal of the Escuela Modela of the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and set up a program in which students in Westminster and San Juan exchanged information with one another about their different natural environments, and

Whereas, as the project progressed, it quickly came to encompass the exchange of information among the students about their homes, families, schools, language, and culture as well, and

Whereas, the students in San Juan and Westminster wanted to see each other’s schools and homes firsthand and faculty and community members in Westminster and San Juan decided that the children should have this opportunity, and

Whereas, these students, faculty, and community members devoted untold hours and countless resources to organizing and fundraising over years of effort to achieve the goal of sending members of each community to visit the other, and

Whereas, in February, 1995, the first half of this dream was realized when students from the Westminster West school in Westminster traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a week-long visit to learn about the people, culture, and environment of Puerto Rico, and

Whereas, the Westminster students and family members were graciously and generously hosted in their visit to Puerto Rico by the Escuela Modela of the University of Puerto Rico, and

Whereas, the second half of the dream is now being realized with the visit of members of the Escuela Modela and community to Vermont to learn about our environment and culture, and

Whereas, the visitors from Escuela Modela are present in the Vermont Legislaturetoday, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly warmly welcomes the members of the Escuela Modela community to the State of Vermont, thanks them for the hospitality they showed members of the Westminster West school community in their visit to Puerto Rico in 1995, and asks all citizens of the State of Vermont to extend every courtesy to our visitors from Puerto Rico, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly expresses its sincere appreciation and gratitude to the faculty and community members of the Westminster West school and the Escuela Modela for their tireless work in bringing about this exchange program which stands as a model to all of what schools can accomplish through creativity and determination, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Westminster West school and the Escuela Modela.