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4th Graders Successfully Lobby Legislators to Make Blueberries the State Fruit

Langley Leverett  //  Mar 20, 2023

4th Graders Successfully Lobby Legislators to Make Blueberries the State Fruit

It is incredible what students can achieve when they have the appropriate resources and support system. Scholastic is proud to congratulate the 4th grade classroom and their social studies teacher, Lisa Parenteau, of Mannsdale Upper Elementary School in Madison, Mississippi, for their successful efforts on taking ‘Project Blueberry’ from an idea to a law.

After reading a Scholastic News article highlighting students from Kansas who successfully campaigned for their own state fruit, a determined group of 4th graders were inspired to lobby their legislators to make blueberries the state fruit. This past week, they witnessed the bill become a law.

Lisa Parenteau, the educator leading the charge, encouraged her students to work together and decide which fruit would be best for the campaign. After performing some preliminary research and discovering that blueberries are the most grown fruit in the state, they unanimously agreed and ‘Project Blueberry’ was underway.To take this learning experience a step further, Parenteau reached out to Mississippi legislator Jill Ford, who visited the classroom and shared the best next steps on how to advocate their cause, which included hand-written letters and campaign signs.

House Bill 1027 passed in February with a 110-1 vote, then to the Senate, which resulted in a 52-0 vote. Many students visited the capitol to observe lawmakers in action and to watch Governor Tate Reeves officially sign the bill into law.

As shared through the Governor’s newsroom in an official press release, Governor Tate Reeves said:

“I was happy to sign this legislation into law. This is all thanks to the initiative of these great Mannsdale Upper Elementary School students. I’m very proud of their efforts leading the way on this issue and rallying the legislature to their cause. I enjoyed meeting them at the signing ceremony. They have bright futures ahead of them!”

Congratulations again to Lisa Parenteau and her 4th grade students on their fruitful grassroots campaign.

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