Third-graders from Cannon Beach Academy got a taste of state politics with a trip to Salem on Monday, March 18, to visit with local legislators.
“We wanted to get the children involved in advocating for their own education,” academy director Amy Fredrickson said.
The charter school partnered with the Oregon Coalition of Community Charter Schools for the trip, and participated with nearly 20 other schools and dozens of students, board member Kellye Dewey said during the academy’s regular board of director meeting March 14.
Leading up to the trip, the academy’s third-graders drafted letters to their representatives—including State House Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell, of District 32, and State Sen. Betsy Johnson, representing District 16—defining issues affecting charter schools and offering solutions. The in-person meetings at the state capitol were also to talk about “the lack of equal access that charter schools are met with,” Fredrickson said.
For example, she said, charter schools don’t have access to the state’s School Improvement Fund.
“We spoke to our legislators about how vital that funding would be to our school in terms of improving the current building and when opening a new school in the long term,” Fredrickson said. “We also advocated for eliminating the proposed budget cuts, which will additionally impact our school, as well.”
In other news:
The academy will participate in the city of Cannon Beach-sponsored 12 Days of Earth Day. Board member Barb Knop said the city approved for the academy kids to select two locations on campus where they can plant trees, and monitor them as they grow. On April 12, the students also will walk to the south end of Cannon Beach near the Tree City USA sign, where adult volunteers will plant trees and the kids can observe for educational purposes, Knop said.
The board discussed details for its PTO fundraiser, which will take place from 6 to 9 pm. May 18 at the Cannon Beach American Legion Post 168. The event will include a silent auction for arts-related items, food and live music.