Published: May 12, 2017

Rep Polis at Uni HillInvited by students and parents on a Families and Educators Together team, Congressman Jared Polis visited University Hill Elementary recently offering a Q&A session and words of encouragement for students.

In January, the 3rd-5th grade University Hill classes created bookmarks focused on their concerns about current news and policies coming from Washington D.C. The students sent their bookmarks to the Congressman asking him to share their messages with his “friends” in Washington, D.C.

Families and Educators Together (FET) is a pilot project for parents, community liaisons, teachers, principals, and school leaders at four elementary and two middle schools in the Boulder Valley Schools District. FET teams identify literacy, academic, and non-academic goals and activities that best serve their school communities including diverse and multilingual families.

The FET team at University Hill used the bookmarks, a local book drive, and a literacy night in March to work toward their literacy goals. Rep. Polis’ office donated books to the school, and his visit was the icing on the cake after a productive year.  

“This was really the capstone of the whole literacy event,” said Michelle Renee Valladares, deputy director for the National Education Policy Center and University Hill parent. “The art teacher taught the students how art and the democratic process is at least one place to express feelings. We filled out the application for the Library of Congress and worked with Polis’ office to make the visit happen.”

Before the Q&A assembly with the students, Rep. Polis toured the elementary with Principal Ina Rodriguez-Myer, who shared the school’s dual-immersion bilingual program, challenges and successes. The visit also included school board member Kathleen Gebhardt, Madeleine Case, BVSD director of parent and family partnerships, and Kristen Davidson, School of Education research associate who is studying the FET teams’ processes.

Rep. Polis and students