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Sen. Wyden visits Nellie Muir Elementary

by: TYLER FRANCKE | WOODBURN INDEPENDENT - Sen. Ron Wyden signs autographs for children at the Nellie Muir Elementary School following a book reading there last Wednesday.U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat who serves as Oregon’s senior senator, stopped by Nellie Muir Elementary School last week for a visit with summer-learning and migrant program students and Woodburn School District personnel.

A mix of adults and first-, second-, fifth- and sixth-grade students gathered for an hour-long event July 2 that included a book reading by Wyden and information about the various educational programs that are ongoing at district schools throughout the summer.

Those offerings include the Woodburn After School Program, the Migrant Summer School Program, OregonASK’s Summer Library and Summer Lunch.

“I want you to know, I’m here because hunger does not take the summer off, and neither does learning,” Wyden told the students. “That’s why these programs are so important.”

Wyden spent some time answering a wide variety of questions from the students, which ranged from the professional (such as, “What is your job?” and “What does the president do?”) to the personal (like, “Do you eat at Subway?” and “Is Barack Obama your brother?”), before reading to them from an illustrated children’s book.

Those participating in the event or joining the children in the audience included state Rep. Betty Komp, (D-Woodburn); Matthew Boulay, board chairman of the National Summer Learning Association; Woodburn School District board member Jody Daniels, Superintendent Chuck Ransom and Nellie Muir Principal Todd Farris.

“What an honor to have the senator come to visit our school,” Farris said afterward. “I really think it meant a lot for him to come and see our kids and be with our kids.”

Farris said the district is offering both breakfast and lunch throughout the summer, as well as a mixture of academic and enrichment programming. He said the migrant summer school is particularly important here, where some of the students may be in the Woodburn area only during the summer and reside elsewhere during the school year.

“It’s important because we know migrant kids’ education is impacted by the moves,” he said.



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