Over the past several years Sen. Leahy has conducted many online chats with students of all ages throughout Vermont. Leahy has found them to be very informative and fun, both for the students and for the Senator himself. The goal for these chats is to encourage student civic participation by demonstrating that government is accessible and accountable to their concerns.
Leahy is always impressed by the level of knowledge, curiosity, and creativity that our students' questions reflect. Questions range from topics such as landmines, the death penalty and the environment, to what it is like to be a United States senator and whether or not he believes that Champ, the Lake Champlain sea monster, exists.
Below are links to a summary of online chats Sen. Leahy has held with students in Vermont. To view any of these summaries just click on the title of your choice.
On December 8, 2011 Senator Leahy held an online chat with over 40 3rd and 6th grade students from Moretown Elementary. Using Skype to communicate with students and their teacher, Senator Leahy spoke about the great work the teachers and students have done at Moretown to continue classes after Hurricane Irene. The students also asked Senator Leahy about his thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement, what the government is doing to help farmers, and questions about the war in Afghanistan. Thi… Continue Reading
On November 16, 2011, Senator Leahy held an online chat with 22 juniors and seniors from Middlebury Union High School including a former Senate Page, William Conlon. Using Skype to communicate with students and their teacher, Senator Leahy spoke about pieces of legislation the students were interested in including President Obama's Jobs Bill, The Respect for Marriage Act, and the PATRIOT Act as well as some local topics such as Vermont Yankee and legislation to help small farms. Students also a… Continue Reading
On November 9, 2011 Senator Leahy held his first online chat of the 2011-2012 school year with 16 juniors and seniors from Lake Region Union High School. Using Skype to communicate with students, their advisors, and principal, Senator Leahy shed light on several pieces of legislation the students were interested in including The Respect for Marriage Act, PROTECT IP, The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and others. Students also asked about his role in the movie The Dark Knigh… Continue Reading
On May 10, 2011 Senator Leahy held an online chat with 4th and 5th grade students on the Stowe Elementary School Student Council. Using Skype to communicate with students, their advisors, and principal, Senator Leahy spoke about what it was like to be a young Senator and his favorite parts of the job. Students also asked questions about the conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan, the death of Osama Bin Laden, and the recent flooding and tornadoes around the country. This was Senator Leahy's fourth t… Continue Reading
On March 16, 2011 Senator Leahy spent a half hour speaking with students from Richmond Elementary School. The 4th grade students who had just finished studying Vermont civics and government asked a variety of questions about life as a United States Senator, Lake Champlain, Farm to School Program, and technology in schools. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with Richmond Elementary School. The questions asked during the chat are listed below. Raina: Why did you want to run for Senate … Continue Reading
On January 25, 2011, Senator Leahy held an online chat with seniors at Rutland High School. Using Skype to communicate with the students and their teachers Senator Leahy spoke about his plans to attend President Obama's State of the Union Address later that evening. Students also asked questions about a variety of topics including education, energy and the environment and health care reform. Listed below is a sample of some of the questions asked during the chat. Twyla - How do you feel about… Continue Reading
On November 17, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat for the 2010-2011 school year with students from Colchester High School. Students asked Senator Leahy a variety of questions about how Senator Leahy decided to enter into politics, his priorities in the Senate, and his thoughts on education reform and the importance of arts education. A sample of the questions asked during the chat follows. Why did you get into politics? What are you and Congress doing to help boost Vermont's … Continue Reading
On June 9, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with the 13 students of Plymouth Elementary School. Plymouth Elementary School closed at the end of the school year on June 17, 2101. As part of the school's closing activities Senator Leahy used Skype to speak with the students ranging in grades kindergarten through six grade about their hometown of Plymouth, Senator Leahy's life as a U.S. Senator and his childhood. A sample of the questions asked during the chat follows. What schools and … Continue Reading
On May 19, 2010, Senator Leahy conducted an online chat with 19 students from Green Mountain Valley School in Waitsfield, Vermont. Students used Skype to ask Senator Leahy questions about the dairy industry in Vermont and Senator Leahy's efforts to assist dairy farmers. They also asked a variety of questions about Senator Leahy's life as a United States Senator, his personal interests and his thoughts on Elena Kagan's nomination for Supreme Court Justice. Senator Leahy chats via video with st… Continue Reading
On May 4, 2010 Senator Leahy spent 30 minutes speaking with the members of the Stowe Elementary School Student Council. The 4th and 5th grade students asked a variety of questions about handling the pressure of being a Senator, White Nose disease in Vermont Bats, and Health Care Reform. Senator Leahy last spoke with the members of the student council in 2009. The questions asked during the chat are listed below. Johnny: What committee that you are on is the most important to you? Graham: why … Continue Reading
On April 13, 2010 Senator Leahy held an online chat with the 3rd grade students of Miss Kolter from Hiawatha Elementary School. Using Skype to communicate with students, their teachers and principal, Senator Leahy spoke about what it was like to work as a Senator, his childhood, helping the earthquake victims in Haiti and ways to protect Lake Champlain. Students asked questions about a variety of topics and answered some of Senator Leahy's questions about themselves. Listed below is a sample o… Continue Reading
On Tuesday March 16, 2010, Senator Leahy held an online chat with 7th and 8th grade students from Westford Elementary School in Westford. Students spent 30 minutes using Skype to chat with the Senator and ask questions about such topics as health care reform, the war in Afghanistan, bipartisanship in Congress and global warming. This was the second chat that Senator Leahy has conducted with the Westford Elementary School.… Continue Reading
On March 9, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with 11th and 12th grade students of the Stafford Technical Center. Students from nine of the seventeen programs of study offered at Stafford Technical Center spent 30 minutes asking the Senator questions about stimulating the economy in Vermont, the role of technical education and lowering the cost of college. Students also asked the Senator about his favorite band The Grateful Dead and about how they could make a difference in the … Continue Reading
On February 4, 2010 Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with 6th grade social studies students of Barre City Elementary and Middle School. Students asked a variety of questions about a variety of topics including Senator Leahy's childhood, what inspired him to become a United States Senator and his favorite part of his job. They also discussed Senator Leahy's role in the movie The Dark Knight and his personal favorite sports teams and foods.… Continue Reading
Mr. Peter Gustafson's 6th grade Social Studies Class As part of their recent study of the rainforest student's of Mr. Peter Gustafson's 6th grade social studies class wrote letters to Senator Leahy's office in December of 2009 sharing with the Senator their thoughts on the topic. After responding to the student letters, Senator Leahy spoke directly with students during an online chat to further explore global efforts for rainforest preservation. This was the first online chat for the Albert D. … Continue Reading
Mrs. Auch's and Mrs. Coviello's 5th grade classes On December 8, 2009, 46 fifth grade students of the Thomas Fleming School in Essex, VT used a video-conferencing system to speak with Senator Leahy in Washington, DC. After studying the Constitution, the students were eager to ask the Senator about various aspects of his job, his life, and the political processes of the government and Congress. A sample of the questions asked during their 30 minute chat, are listed below. This is the second chat… Continue Reading
Mrs. Kravitz Civics' students On December 1, 2009, five students from each of the seven Civics classes offered at Rutland High School were asked to attend a Skype video chat with Senator Leahy. This was Rutland High School's first chat with the Senator. The students along with their professor, Ms. Jennifer Kravitz, and Principal, Mr. Bill Olsen, discussed issues such as health care reform, Afghanistan, Vermont troops, the economy, energy conservation and farming programs in Vermont. They spoke … Continue Reading
Ms. Horn's and Ms. Elizabeth Root's 5th and 6th grade classes For students in grades 5 and 6 at the Leicester Central School, a study of the Constitution was followed by a direct online chat with Senator Leahy. The Senator discussed not only the Constitution with the students, but also the issues of global warming, health care, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his career as a Senator. This was Senator Leahy's first online chat with Leicester Central School. Several questions asked by the s… Continue Reading
Ms. Fleming's 8th grade class As a part of the annual "Operation Caring Classroom" Initiative, the Armed Forces Foundation contacted Senator Leahy to perform an online chat with students from Rutland Town School in Rutland, VT. In order to raise awareness and appreciation for military families, Senator Leahy spoke with students discussing health care issues, the environment, the Constitution and his life. Listed below is a sample of some of the questions asked during the chat. This year's chat… Continue Reading
Mr. Laramie's United States History and Civics Classes On November 5, 2009, Senator Leahy conducted his first online chat with United States History and Civics' High School students of Proctor High School in Proctor, VT. The students asked the Senator questions concerning health care reform, the economy and the war in Afghanistan. They asked to understand the Senator's reasoning for voting to reauthorize the Patriot Act as well as his decision on voting to support a public option for all Americ… Continue Reading