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NO. R-235.  Joint resolution supporting the mission of First Day of School America.


Offered by:  Representatives Mook of Bennington, Botzow of Pownal, Corcoran of Bennington, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Livingston of Manchester, Miller of Shaftsbury, Molloy of Arlington, Morrissey of Bennington, Barnard of Richmond, Clark of Vergennes, Cross of Winooski, Endres of Milton, Jerman of Essex, Kilmartin of Newport City, LaVoie of Swanton, McLaughlin of Royalton and Potter of Clarendon.

Whereas, the mission of the First Day Foundation is to promote annual first day of school celebrations for families in all schools, and

Whereas, in 1997, the late Hemmings Motor News publisher, Terry Ehrich of Bennington, created the First Day of School America campaign in order to make the opening day of school a shared and special experience for children, parents, and parents’ employers, and

Whereas, this special enterprise is an effective method for encouraging parental involvement in their children’s educational odyssey starting on the opening morning of the new academic year, and

Whereas, the program encourages employers to grant time off to their employees in order to facilitate parental attendance at a child’s first day of school, and

Whereas, the project is now known as First Day of School America and is operated through the First Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides technical assistance to local schools and publishes both the First Day Handbook and the First Day Newsletter, and

Whereas, in 1998, 62 Vermont schools and 17 schools beyond the state’s borders hosted First Day events, and

Whereas, in 2004, every state had First Day programs involving over 10,000 schools, and

Whereas, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Maine have statewide First Day programs, and

Whereas, in 2005, 80 percent of Vermont schools are projected to have First Day programs, and

Whereas, First Day builds bridges between parents and teachers, and

Whereas, the state board of education encourages schools in Vermont to participate in First Day activities, and

Whereas, the Vermont Children’s Forum, the Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators, the Vermont-NEA, the Vermont Parent Teacher Association, the Vermont Principals’ Association, the Vermont School Boards Association, and the Vermont Superintendents Association are extremely supportive of parental and community involvement, including that reflected by participation in First Day activities and associated events, and

Whereas, U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, U.S. Senator James Jeffords, and U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders support the foundation’s initiative in the holding of annual First Day festivities, and

Whereas, Governor James H. Douglas supports the early and ongoing involvement by parents in their children’s education assuring educational success, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly expresses its strong support for the educational mission of First Day of School America and urges communities throughout Vermont to promote this outstanding program, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to First Day of School America in Bennington and to Commissioner of Education Richard Cate.


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont