Monday, May 9, 2011

Student-penned resolution passes Senate today

Abby Scott
Resolution recognizes the extraordinary achievements children have made in our country throughout history

Today, the Colorado Senate passed a resolution drafted by Abby Scott, a Durango 5th grader, to establish the first week in October as “Children’s History Week” in Colorado. Senate President Brandon Shaffer met Abby during the first inaugural “Girls with Goals Day” at the Colorado Capitol. Abby introduced the idea for Children’s History Week. President Shaffer liked it so much, he chose to introduce it in the Senate. Senate Joint Resolution 47 seeks to honor the extraordinary achievements of children throughout history and to encourage children who aspire to do big things today.

“Girls with Goals Day” was held in early March, when 35 fifth-grade girls, one from each of Colorado’s Senate districts, spent the day at the state Capitol as honorary “youth senators” learning how a bill becomes a law and how the legislature works. The girls participated in mock committee sessions with “bills” three of the girls had written themselves. "Senate Bill 2", authored by Abby, is the bill that was introduced by President Shaffer today.

President Shaffer offered the following comment on the passage of Abby’s Children’s History Week resolution today:

“Young people have done extraordinary things throughout our nation’s history, but their contributions to society are rarely recognized. Abby Scott demonstrates the potential that exists in our youth, and she has shown us that people of any age can accomplish great things. With this creative idea, Abby joins the ranks of the children mentioned in Senate Joint Resolution 47. This resolution recognizes the strength, resiliency, courage and potential in children and applauds the amazing achievements children have made in our country throughout history.”

Senate Joint Resolution 47 declares the first week of October 2011, Children’s History Week, and encourages families, schools, and communities to include in their conversations, educational activities, and studies examples of outstanding achievements of children.

The full text of Abby’s resolution is below:


WHEREAS, Young people have been a part of all the crucial episodes of our American history, having sailed with Columbus, served as go-betweens for English colonists and Indians, toiled as indentured servants, been kidnapped into slavery, fought in the American Revolution and the Civil War, labored in coal mines and factories, and stood at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement; and

WHEREAS, In addition, certain children have made unique and lasting personal contributions in history that have changed the world, such as:

● Louis Braille, who in 1824 at age 15, while living at the National School for Blind Youth in Paris, invented a simple system that allowed people who are blind to read and write, using patterns of six raised dots, inspired after having had a French military battlefield code demonstrated to him;

● Annelies Marie “Anne” Frank, a German-born Jewish girl from the city of Frankfurt, who gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary, begun when she was 13 years old, which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II and has been acknowledged for the quality of her writing, and which has become one of the most renowned literary records of Holocaust victims;

● Ruby Nell Bridges Hall, who in 1960, when she was 6 years old, after her parents responded to a call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and volunteered her to participate in the integration of the New Orleans school system, became the first African-American child to attend an all-white elementary school in the South; and

WHEREAS, Young people continue to make life-changing differences in the lives of children around the world, as recognized by the International Children’s Peace Prize, awarded each year since 2005 to a young person who has made a significant contribution to improving the situation of the world's vulnerable children, such as orphans, child laborers, and children with HIV/AIDS, the first such prize having been awarded posthumously to Nkosi Johnson, a South African boy infected with HIV, who brought international attention to children with HIV/AIDS and who, along with his adoptive mother, founded the Nkosi's Haven home for HIV-positive mothers and children; and

WHEREAS, To help children perceive their own strengths and to understand their own potentialities, it is important that they be aware of other children who have had a positive and inspirational impact on the world; now, therefore,

Be It Resolved by the Senate of the Sixty-eighth General Assembly of the State of Colorado, the House of Representatives concurring herein:

That we, the members of the Colorado General Assembly, hereby:

(1) Recognize the strength, resiliency, courage, and potential inherent in children, especially those faced with extreme difficulties, dangers, or challenges;

(2) Remember and applaud the extraordinary achievements that children have made in history and that they continue to make today;

(3) Encourage families, schools, and community organizations to include in their conversations, educational activities, and studies, as appropriate, examples of outstanding achievements of children; and

(4) Declare the first week of October 2011 as Children's History Week in Colorado.