Elementary students eagerly follow daylight saving time legislation

Elementary students eagerly follow daylight saving time legislation
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It may not be a topic you’d expect to hear debated in a third grade classroom, but students at Prairie View Elementary School are excited to talk about daylight saving time.

For months, they’ve been closely watching new legislation in Washington inch closer and closer to becoming law.

They dove in to the topic when Spokane’s state representative, Marcus Riccelli, first introduced a bill that would eliminate the twice annual time switch for the state. While that proposal gained bipartisan support, the elementary school students had their own homework.

Teacher Celeste Simone had them research the issue and craft arguments. Faith Silbar said it was a tough assignment at first.

“It takes a lot of work to know all about it and know what to research and stuff,” Silbar said.

She and her classmates rose to the occasion. Some of them faced their classmates Monday to present their final points, for and against daylight saving time. Chloe Church said this experience taught her a lot.

“We started our speeches and now we come to here. It’s our test and we weren’t allowed to get help,” Church said.

Some students spoke about the safety aspects of ditching the switch and connections to lower crime rates. Other scholars discussed the impacts on animals and family vacations.
Each person presented a thoughtful and clear argument.

State leaders faced their own test earlier this year as they worked to get the legislation on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.

When that happened, some students from Prairie View Elementary School got to be there.

This civics lesson was personal for Brayden Riccelli. His father was the bill’s sponsor.

“I just like politics,” Riccelli said. “You can actually argue against someone, not just your family, like my sister.”

It’s that kind of spirited and educated debate that Riccelli’s teacher is glad to see.

“I think one of the important parts is that they have a voice and they’re able to come up with their own ideas and opinions. They work in teams and they work in partnership. Then they work individually,” Simone said. “They have all these different modes of learning and it reaches every kid.”

That’s why Simone has debates in her classroom every year. Now that the students have mastered daylight saving time, they’re moving onto other topics, like food allergies in schools.

They may be young, but Simone said you shouldn’t underestimate them because of that.

“What you think kids can’t do, you’re most of the time wrong. You’d be surprised at what they can do,” Simone said.

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