Easthampton students raising funds for national competition - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Easthampton students raising funds for national competition

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A group of Easthampton students have a chance to make history, but not without your help.

They will represent the state in the "We The People" competition, a national event testing students on their knowledge of the U.S. constitution.

Only the group needs proper funds to pay for the trip to Washington D.C.

For these students at Easthampton High School, the work never never stops.  Every minute is a chance to get better prepared for the 'We The People' competition, a national event held in D.C. featuring the top schools from around the country.

"Just talking things out was really important for us, so we are comfortable with how we sound and what we are saying," said Carlie Raucher.
The competition takes the form of a Congressional hearing.  Students will be tested on their knowledge and understanding of the constitution, while competing against other schools to speak confidently and clearly.

A panel of judges determines the winner.

The Easthampton group already won the statewide competition in Boston and advanced to the nationals.

"They become better citizens by learning about their government.  They have a better analysis of current day issues and they learn about current events," said history teacher Kelley Brown.

Vinnie Catalano added, "There's so many things happening and so many news sources saying different things. To actually hear and know stuff for yourself, and not just listen to someone else, is really important."

The problem is it's expensive for 21 students and staff to make the near 400 mile trip to our nation's capitol.

The group is in need of $35,00 in funding to compete on April 27.

"We just want to make them proud.  We're representing all of Massachusetts, so we really want to make the whole state proud," Raucher added.

The program has been around for eight years and Easthampton made the nationals back in 2012, but with half the amount of students.

The head of the program, Kelley Brown, told Western Mass News that she has the community to thank for helping raise more than half the funds so far and hopes this group of students can finish what they started.

"I just thank everyone for all of the support they've been giving us," Kelley noted.

There are several ways to make a donation, from a GoFundMe page, to contacting the school, or getting involved in several upcoming events in town, including: 

  • Friday, March 16 - Spaghetti supper and charity auction at Easthampton High School from 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Week of March 19 - 'Easthampton Eats': Eat out in Easthampton to support the trip
    • Monday, March 19 - Glendale Grill (dinner)
    • Tuesday, March 20 - Nini's (dinner)
    • Wednesday, March 21 - Galaxy (dinner)
    • Thursday, March 22 - Coresello Butcheria (day take-out), Burger King (dinner)
  • Sunday, March 25 - Petting zoo and pony rides at Heritage Farm from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 31 - Battle of the Bans at Easthampton High School from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

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