Digest>Archives> July 1997

A Special Thanks from Noble Junior High School


Dear Tim Harrison;

The 7th grade Navigator team students at Noble Jr. High want to thank you, Kathy Finnegan, Virginia Souza, and the many readers of Lighthouse Digest for the help and support you gave as we embarked on our adventure of changing Maine's license plate. Although we still do not know what the outcome will be, we have learned some valuable lessons about state politics, how to prepare speeches, how to lobby, how to work together toward a single goal, and how important it is to have people willing to help when help is needed.

We want to thank you, Mr. Harrison, for coming to our classroom to help the students who were preparing speeches about lighthouses and why lighthouses are important to Maine. The first time you came, you explained to the speakers the importance of looking at the audience, and keeping their speeches brief and to the point. The information on lighthouses, and the documentation of historic significances concerning Maine's lighthouses certainly made our speech writing alot easier. We could never have been as prepared for that first visit to Augusta if we hadn't had help to research our topics. Having you return to our school and listen to our speeches the day before we went to Augusta also helped us. Your suggestions to the speakers and the tips you gave them were well taken. Having you arrive and seeing you seated in the Transportation Committee room gave us students a feeling of security; we knew there was one adult behind us who was for our license plate. To have you appear the second time we traveled to Augusta, and to hear you speak on our behalf in the information meeting was also a huge benefit for us. We want to thank you for the time and effort you put in lobbying, writing, telephoning, and sending information to the legislators and the public. We know that our efforts would not have been as rewarding if you had not become involved.

We want to thank you Ms. Finnegan, for being with us each time we traveled to Augusta. Your pictures and your first-hand observations were a big help. It cannot be stressed enough, how nice it was to look around that big Capitol building and see a few friendly faces. We also want to thank you for your lobbying work done both from your office in Wells and on the floor of the Capitol building.

Next, we need to acknowledge our 'Guardian Angel.' Virginia Souza has become such a large part of our class and this project, that it is hard to imagine our plate without her. During her first visit to our classroom, Virginia, a graphic artist, took our rough ideas and design and magically turned them into a real, beautiful license plate. She has come back many times to the class to help make buttons, which we gave to the legislators, to be an integral part of media interviews, and to just give us the adult moral support, which we needed from time to time. We can't thank you enough, Virginia. We realize how devoted you were to this cause when you agreed to travel to Augusta twice with us on the school bus. A two-hour trip beginning at 7:30 a.m., standing and waiting around the state house for 5 to 6 hours, then returning home via another two-hour bus ride, was a great example of dedication to a cause.

We would also like to thank all the readers of Lighthouse Digest who wrote to us, giving their support to our cause. With school closing for the summer, we will probably not have a chance to thank you personally for your thoughtfulness and kindness. We really appreciate the copies of your letters which were sent to our legislators, the Governor, and to the various state newspapers telling of your support.

This lighthouse license plate project has brought us all so many positive things, even though we have not realized our original goal. We have learned many valuable lessons which will remain with us throughout our lives. The greatest lesson we have learned is that no matter what your age, if you try hard, people will help you along the way.

Thank you all, once again, for making this project such a wonderful learning experience.


Barbara L. Rodden, Teacher of the Navigators

& The Entire 7th Grade of Noble Junior High School

This story appeared in the July 1997 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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