Today, a very enthusiastic group of fourth grade students from Stony Brook Elementary in Hopewell Township went to the New Jersey Statehouse for no ordinary class trip. It was history-making but also history-celebrating.

On March 9, 2015, four of the fourth grade girls wrote a bill, assigned proposed bill number, Bill No. S2771. Today, Bill No. S2771 was introduced in the Senate to be referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee. For the full bill text, click here.

“I would like to thank you for giving my fourth grade students the opportunity to have their voice heard and for them to realize that they’re never too young to create change or make our world a better place by sharing their ideas and opinions,” said the students’  fourth grade teacher, Sarah Lindbloom, as she introduced her students who would present the bill.

In their presentation to the Senate, Zoe Kitson, Dylan Kalina, Emma Smith, and Rory Danieluk spoke about the important influence Thomas Edison had on the state.

senator turner with students and teacher
Senator Shirley Turner with teacher Sarah Lindbloom and students

“We believe that Thomas Edison should be the State Inventor because he has done incredible things for our state and within our state,” said Dylan. “For example, he invented the phonograph, the earliest motion picture camera, and of course one of his most famous inventions, the incandescent light bulb. Also, Edison’s Electric Light Company installed a brass chandelier with 66 light bulbs in it in the Assembly Chamber. Thomas Edison spent most of his life in New Jersey and created a various number of his inventions in Menlo Park. He was named “The Wizard of Menlo Park.” In honor of Thomas Edison, there is a Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum located in Menlo Park. In 1879, on New Year’s Eve, Christie Street in Menlo Park became the first street in the world to be lit by Edison’s incandescent light. Thomas Edison’s inventions have truly changed the world.”

Inspired by their teacher and motivated by the process and the positive encouragement by Senator Shirley Turner, the students expressed their passion for this project.

“The most important thing we learned throughout this process is that everyone has a voice, no matter how young or old you are. You just have to find that voice and never give up,” said Rory. “We want to leave you with a quote by Thomas Edison. He once said, ‘There’s a better way to do it. Find it.’ We believe that is what we have been doing and that is what we will continue to do.”

muoio with students
students with Assemblywoman Liz Muoio

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Mary Galioto
Mary Galioto is the founder, publisher and editor of MercerMe. Originally from Brooklyn, Mary has progressively moved deeper and deeper into New Jersey, settling in the heart of the state: Mercer County. Formerly the author of an embarrassingly informal blog, Mary is a lifelong writer and asker of questions and was even mentioned, albeit briefly, in the New York Times and Washington Post. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY Binghamton and a Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall Law School. In her free time, Mary fills her life with excessive self-reflection, creative endeavors, and photographing mushrooms. Mary also works as the PR Coordinator at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.


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