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Recognizing Easton Elementary School

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 19, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. COLLINS. Mr. President, I am delighted to commend Easton Elementary School in Easton, ME, on being named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon Exemplary High Performing School. Serving 128 students from pre- kindergarten through sixth grade, this outstanding school is one of only 367 schools across the country this year to receive Blue Ribbon recognition from the U.S. Department of Education.

Created in 1982, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools that are either academically superior in their States or that demonstrate significant gains in student achievement. The schools singled out for this national recognition are models of high educational standards and accountability.

Easton is a rural community of 1,300 residents in Aroostook County, just 20 miles from my hometown of Caribou. It is a small town with a big commitment to education.

Easton Elementary School's mission is to achieve academic excellence in a safe and nurturing environment of fairness, respect, and caring. All students are provided with personal enrichment opportunities and work with teachers and staff to set their own learning goals.

The core curriculum is math, literacy, and social studies, with a particular focus on science. Students regularly visit the renowned Francis Malcolm Science Center in Easton, which has a planetarium, interactive laboratory, and nature studies area.

In addition to strong theater and music programs, the school places an emphasis on helping students develop healthy lifestyles. The relationship between the school and the Easton Recreation Department provides students with opportunities for traditional sports programming, as well as cooking lessons and babysitting courses.

Citizenship is an important part of the curriculum. Students participate in activities to support polio vaccine distribution, cancer research, and Down syndrome awareness. Easton is an agricultural community, and the school continues the Aroostook County tradition of starting the school year early to accommodate a 3-week break in the fall so students can help local farmers with the potato harvest. An active parent-teacher organization helps to forge a strong bond between the school and the community.

I applaud the administrators, teachers, staff, and parents of Easton Elementary School. Together, they are succeeding in their mission to build students' confidence and generate momentum for learning. I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Education has selected Easton Elementary School for this well-deserved honor, and I congratulate the entire community for this outstanding achievement.

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