Students focus on the Women’s Suffrage Movement

Post date: Jun 19, 2019 10:38:13 AM

Wells Elementary School teacher Suzanne Laplante-Killoran welcomed several fourth-grade classes to the school’s second-floor atrium on June 6th to watch a presentation by her STRETCH students regarding the women’s suffrage movement in America. The right to vote was eventually granted to women after an arduous 70 plus-year campaign ending in 1920 with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Laplante-Killoran’s group first presented a quiz show followed by a panel of eight students speaking as some of the leading participants in the suffrage movement including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Frederick Douglass. This was followed by audience questions.

In the “To Tell the Truth”-like quiz portion, audience members had to vote as to which one of three contestants was telling the truth in portraying Abigail Adams (1744-1818), wife of future President John Adams. After the contestants read their statements and took questions from the audience, student Carys Ramsey finally stood up to a cheering audience as Abigail Adams. In March of 1776, Abigail lobbied her husband with a letter urging him, a delegate at the time to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, to be mindful of women’s interests in deliberations there.

Laplante-Killoran is the STRETCH teacher at the school. STRETCH stands for Services To Reach Educationally Talented Children. The upcoming 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment gave Laplante-Killoran the idea to focus her students on the women’s suffrage movement. Students did research, wrote reports, designed tee shirts and created displays reflecting the inequality and challenges women faced before the right to vote was granted to them.

The audience for the presentation consisted of the fourth-grade students of teachers Kathy Reeves, Trevor Hopwood, Pam Lear, Alison Clark, Beth Bush, and Melissa Stapleton.

Caption: From left to right are quiz show contestants Lillian Courtois, London Chadwick, and (standing as Abigail Adams) Carys Ramsey