Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-03-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 3-9, 2019 IN OUR SCHOOLS 11 NORTH PROVIDENCE – As a nationwide debate over whether the voting age should be lowered con- tinues, the topic was picked up by 5th-graders at Whelan Elementary School, who spent time in class arguing both in favor and against the concept. After one student rose to the podium during a March 15 debate to make a case for lowering the vot- ing age, arguing that some younger teens are equally as knowledgeable about civics as some older adults, Kaedyn Minta-Jacobs said 16-year- olds may not have the time to study the issues thoroughly. Student Oluwadara Adebayo pointed out teens' penchant for risky behaviors such as smoking and texting while driving as a reason to maintain the current voting age. Other students said 16-year-olds deserve the right to choose leaders, arguing that they might have good ideas to make the country a better place. While some students said younger teens should have a voice in the election process as many are starting jobs and paying certain taxes, oth- ers said those younger perspectives could be shared in other ways, from rallies to social media campaigns. Some students feared the poten- tial use of social media to presssure friends to vote a certain way. "If a friend chooses that person, they might follow they're friend's decision," said Robyn Barchue. Sometimes friends can help boost one's knowledge, another student countered. While some 5th-graders said they spent time researching the candi- dates during the last election, stu- dent Justin Ing argued that many teens have other interests besides research and politics. "Some teens are responsible enough," student Jaylene Monteiro countered. Joseph Dapont argued against low- ering the voting age, in part because teens' brains are not yet fully devel- oped. "Parents, would you want your child to vote for a video game YouTuber or no? Don't lower the voting age," he said. The students, taught by teach- ers Jamie DiLorenzo and Vanessa Puccio, spent weeks researching the topic, organizing arguments and collaborating to narrow the most impactful points and rebuttals for each side. "Having students present their work to others gives them an oppor- tunity to showcase their hard work, get feedback from others, and take ownership over their roles in the group," DiLorenzo said. Both educa- tors said speaking and listening are essential aspects of the education standards, and that peer groups are the most difficult to speak in front of. DiLorenzo said the project was a way to get the students excited about writing, as well as to practice many important skills including communication, collaboration and public speaking. Whelan 5th-graders debate lower voting age By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer BREEZE PHOTOS BY NICOLE DOTZENROD Whelan Elementary School 5th-grader JUSTIN ING speaks at the podium during last month's debate on lowering the voting age. OLUWADARA ADEBAYO takes her turn at the podium during last month's debate between fifth-graders at Whelan Elementary School over whether the voting age should be low- ered. Place your classified ad online at IN BRIEF Washington Trust kicks off annual peanut butter drive WESTERLY – The Washington Trust Company has officially kicked off its 19th annual Washington Trust Peanut Butter Drive. The annual drive, which runs through the end of April, benefits the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and local food pantries across Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. People can support the 2019 Washington Trust Peanut Butter Drive by dropping off a jar of pea- nut butter to any Washington Trust branch or office location. People can also visit peanutbutterbank. com to make an online donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. A $5 donation helps the food bank buy four jars of peanut butter. Additionally, Washington Trust will be collecting peanut butter at a free community shred event on Saturday, April 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at various Washington Trust branch locations, including the North Providence Mancini Center, 2 Atlantic Blvd., North Providence. Visit for details. The Breeze distributes 7,900 papers in North Providence every Wednesday? do you know? Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to:, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. 2044 Smith St., North Providence, RI (401) 231-2370 fax (401) 232-9220 Tuxedo RenTal h e a d q u a R T e R s $ 40 Off with this ad! 14 Days Notice! • Largest selection of Tuxedo Styles • Largest selection of colors and shades of accessories • All stocked in one location locally • We honor competitor's coupons

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