Be the Change on the Hill

Two days after the election, students from the Be the Change committee at Friends Community School were on Capitol Hill to lobby with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).
As a hands-on lesson in civics, the field trip was well-timed, though it had been in the works for months. Each year, middle-school students from FCS’s Be the Change committee join FCNL for Lobby Day. This year, the event was in support of the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. The bill, introduced by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), would increase judicial discretion with regard to prison sentences for non-violent, drug-related crimes.
 
Prior to going to Capitol Hill, students joined with Quakers from across the country to learn about the effects of mass incarceration and the remedies the Act would provide. Students then met with a representative of Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) to lobby him on the Act. The bill has bipartisan support and could reach the floor before the end of the year.
 
Ava, a seventh-grade student on the Be the Change committee, said the Lobby Day “helped me see how many people in our country care about and want to fix the issue.” She learned that Senator Cardin supports the legislation but has yet to cosponsor it because “he is working to improve the bill.”
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Located in College Park, MD, Friends Community School is a progressive Quaker K-8 day school, founded on the belief that every child is a valued member of our community. We offer a challenging curriculum imbued with strong values of equality, integrity, community, environmental stewardship, simplicity and peaceful conflict resolution, rooted in our Quaker heritage.
Friends Community School
5901 Westchester Park Drive
College Park, Maryland 20740
301-441-2100