Within an hour of the midnight deadline to a possible government shutdown, President Barack Obama announced an agreement was reached on national television. What a Longmont family didn't expect was the President of the United States reading a part of an email Shalini Schane sent to him.
"We were just stunned," Shalini said.
"He (President Obama) said we got a letter from Longmont. That's when me and my Dad and Mom dad and mom all looked at each other. Then he said from a mother in Longmont, that's when we knew," said Adam Schane, Shalini's son said.
They knew that the president heard their plea. A government shutdown would affect a school trip for 50 eighth graders at Altona Middle School in Longmont. They were planning to be in Washington, D.C., next week.
"This is really important for these kids. They've been working really hard and to have their trip changed, or miss some of the key points in the capital would be sad," Shalini said.
The students had been saving money for the school trip since August. For many of them, including Adam, it was the first time to visit the nation's capital.
"I didn't pay too much attention to politics until this last week. That's when I said, 'Uh Oh, our trip might be in jeopardy," Adam said.
So, you can imagine the Schane's surprise, when they watched the president's speech on Friday night. They were not only excited to hear Congress made a temporary budget agreement, they were shocked he gave them national recognition.
"Mr. President started quoting her exact email, word for word," Adam said.
Shalini said a White House intern called her earlier in the day on Friday and told her that they might use parts of her email in his future speeches, but they understood that there was no guarantee. She's just happy that lawmakers were setting a good example for the kids.
"What do we teach our children? We teach our children to compromise, to work things out so out. So, we need to set an example," Shalini said.
By writing emails to the president and other lawmakers, Shalini also set an example not just for her son, but for other kids too.
"I want them to know you can voice your opinion. It may not always be heard, but maybe just once it might and look what happens," Shalini said.
"I learned even if it won't happened, you have to just try anyway," Adam said.
The eighth graders will leave for Washington, D.C., on Sunday. The group requested a tour of the White House, but didn't make the list because of limited space availability. Shalini said she got a call from the White House Saturday morning with an invitation to tour the White House.
So, it sounds like the students at Altona Middle School might get the chance after all.
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