US Rep. Jamie Raskin D-District 8, visits to South Carroll High School in Winfield to recognize School Library Month Wednesday, April 12, 2017. (Dylan Slagle / Carroll County Times)
WINFIELD — After touring South Carroll High School, Congressman Jamie Raskin, District 8, watched students learn code and chatted with government classes in the media center Wednesday morning. The visit was arranged to celebrate School Library Media Month.
"I represent many of the best high schools in the United States of America," Raskin, a Democrat from Takoma Park whose district encompasses portions of Carroll, Frederick and Montgomery counties, said in an interview during his visit on Wednesday. "It's very uplifting and inspiring to be with the wonderful people at South Carroll High School."
Principal Diane Cooper said she thought it was important that lawmakers have firsthand knowledge of what's going on in the schools.
"They need to know what the students are learning and the opportunities and resources available to students," Cooper said.
"We're looking to promote what school libraries can do and how they transform learning in schools," Johnson said. "By having legislators in, we're hoping to provide a window into what libraries do. Most importantly, we're advocating for our professions as teachers and librarians."
Raskin watched as Johnson led students in a coding class.
"They're studying algebra and geometry through code," Johnson explained. "Just like any other language, programming will help the students communicate in the larger world."
Raskin also talked to government students about the importance of due process.
"People rush to judgment," Raskin said to the class. "Government simply isn't perfect and mistakes are made."
Sophomore Gavin Baker described Raskin's brief chat as "informative."
"It's nice to see what our congressman thinks about the issues that go on in our everyday lives, like if we get in trouble at school," Baker said. "It helps to know he cares about what rights we have."
Sophomore Chris Kersey said he was glad Raskin "was concerned and intrigued about the student community."
"I learned a lot about politics from his point of view and how a politician sees things in the community," Kersey said.
After meeting with the students, Raskin described the visit as "good fun."
"I heard wonderful things about South Carroll High School," Raskin said. "These media centers blow my mind because when I was a kid, the library was something everyone dreaded. Today the media center is like the heart of the school. It opens up the world to these kids."