March 2, 2007

Whitehouse Meets with Portsmouth High School Students

Ten Students Visit Washington for Civics Learning Program

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) met this week with ten Portsmouth High School students as part of their participation with the national Close Up Foundation.

The students, sophomores through seniors, had been in Washington since Sunday for the Foundation’s week-long learning adventure designed to develop the students’ knowledge and interest in civics. They were accompanied by Joe Cassady, a Portsmouth High School social studies teacher, on the trip. They met with Senator Whitehouse in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, and were well prepared with questions about stem cell research, Iraq, alternative energy, and Whitehouse’s new life as a Senator.

“I hope you follow up on the interest that brought you here to Washington,” Whitehouse told them. “There are so many ways you can make a difference.”

This is the seventh year Portsmouth High School has participated in the Close Up Foundation’s civics program. Cassady said the school was very supportive of the program, sending as many as 20 students in any given year.

The Close Up Foundation was started in 1971 with the mission to “inform, inspire, and empower people to exercise the rights and accept the responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.” Annually 20,000 students, teachers, and other adults take part in their Washington, DC programs. Since its inception, over 600,000 people have participated in the program. This spring, the week-long Washington Program will run 18 times.

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