Middle School Student Newsletter, 3/6/20

March 6, 2020

Hello, Quest community! This week has been incredibly fun-filled, with multiple field trips and various birthday celebrations. Throughout the various activities, we have all been diligent to keep washing our hands and constantly using hand sanitizer in the classroom. 

Rhode Island State House Visit

On Tuesday, Middle School started the day by going to the Rhode Island State House in Providence as part of our study of government. First we took a tour, visiting the House of Representatives and the Senate, as well as learning about the meanings behind pillars, paintings, and the structure of the building. We learned interesting facts about the State House, and how they took down each large piece for maintenance such as Independent Man, who stands on top of the dome, and the 1,000-pound chandelier.  The State House dome is actually the fourth largest self-standing dome in the world! 

We then headed to the House of Representatives, where we sat in the Representatives’ chairs and held two mock debates. Each person was allotted a certain amount of time and number of times to speak, just as the state representatives are during a floor debate. We debated the topics of using tablets instead of textbooks in school and legalizing recreational marijuana. We had all researched pros and cons of these issues ahead of time. Following the debate, we voted using the machinery they had in place, a simple yea or nay button. As a middle school classroom, we chose to keep using textbooks, to keep marijuana illegal, and to get rid of the electoral college. (We ran out of time to debate the electoral college issue, but were able to vote based on our research.) Fun fact about Rhode Island - if the other states move to eliminate the electoral college, we will support that movement! For our hard work, we were then rewarded with pizza but had to leave shortly due to our second field trip of the day. A special thank you to Teresa Tanzi, mom to middle schooler Delia and state representative, who helped us organize the trip, led our mock debate, and was an all-around great host.

Community Service Trip: Brightview Commons

After the statehouse, we went to Brightview Commons, which is an assisted living community. Our Service Project Manager, Isabel, has been coordinating with Brightview for weeks to ensure this trip would happen. We prepared by deciding what to do at our first visit and meeting with Hollie Moone from Brightview for an orientation. We practiced playing games like Rummikub and Bananagrams in the classroom, making sure our skills were perfected before we went. We split up into groups and played Scrabble and Rummikub with the residents there, and were kindly offered lemonade and assorted cookies. Playing games with the residents of Brightview Commons was honestly an amazing experience, and we are all looking forward to returning in April.

-Sydney C., your Middle School News Correspondent