8th Grade Students Participate in Paulin's "Ought to be a Law" Contest
Six Pelham Middle School students were given certificates by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin at a brief ceremony on May 30 for their performance in this year’s “There Ought To Be A Law” contest.
Eighth grader Jakob Ferrara won the contest, which asks students to identify an issue impacting New York residents and to craft a legislative solution. Ferrara’s bill would mandate free Pre-K for all 4-year-olds in New York State, giving all students the advantage of early learning. A form of the legislation will soon be introduced in the State Assembly to address the issue. In June, Ferrara will visit Paulin in Albany where he will make an appearance on the Assembly floor.
In addition to Ferrara’s submission, Paulin recognized five other Pelham students for their proposals. Eighth grader Georgia Connelly and 7th graders Greta Fear and James Findikyan finished in a three-way tie for second place after each wrote about the dangers of toxic chemicals in cosmetics and Paulin also plans to introduce legislation regarding toxic ingredients in children’s products. There was also a two-way tie for third place between 7th graders Claire Aumer and Mark Tarazi. Aumer proposed that all puppy mills be subject to stricter monitoring and Tarazi proposed a bill that would call for terminally-ill patients to be able to die with dignity. Both proposed bills are similar to legislation that Paulin has introduced.
“We received so many wonderful ideas, almost 100, for a second year in a row,” Assemblywoman Paulin said. “I want to thank all those students who took the time and effort to participate in the contest. It is clear that we have some very intelligent, civic-minded youngsters in the district, and teachers who encourage them to apply what they have learned in school to real life.”
Middle School Principal Dr. Robert Roelle said, “Thank you to assemblywoman Paulin for inviting our students to participate in the contest and for taking the time to visit with them in Pelham. ‘The Ought To Be A Law’ contest is a great way for our students to participate and learn about the legislative process and a unique opportunity for our students advocate for something they care about and be involved in seeing how a bill becomes a law.”
Last year, Paulin collaborated with winners, Pelham Middle School student Sarah Jane O’Connor, on A.2432 to enhance insurance coverage on hearing aids, and Tuckahoe Middle School’s Jack Doherty on A.2093 to make it illegal to tamper or alter parts of a student’s educational files or data, including athletic records. Both bills are currently in committee in the NYS Assembly.