Local families recount DNC experiences
by Staff Writer
Hundreds of journalists descended into Charlotte last week during the Democratic National Convention, so it may have been easy to overlook the two youngest reporters – Scarlett and Margot Francini.
The sisters, fourth- and fifth-graders respectively at Pine Lake Preparatory School, covered the convention for their Girl Scout Troop’s blog, www.fifia.org/gs805/Welcome.html.
Their mother, Laura Francini, allowed the girls to skip school during the convention days to take in the once in a lifetime opportunity.
“It’s their perspective of the things that happened on the days that they were there,” Laura Francini said.
The girls represented Davidson-based Girl Scout Troop 805’s blog as part of The People’s Convention, or The PPL – bloggers and online media members covering the convention. They work alongside organizations and blogs such as Media Matters for America, Huffington Post and The Guardian.
Scarlett and Margot got special access to many politicians, including U.S. Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, and several delegates from throughout the country.
“We met one of the U.S. senators from Maryland,” the girls wrote. “He had just talked at The PPL about technology. And he told us to get involved in math, science and technology.”
The duo was required to keep their coverage non-partisan and objective since the coverage was posted on their Girl Scout blog.
“They asked questions like ‘how did you become a delegate?’ and things like that,” Francini said. “We stopped different delegates on the streets and made contacts with different marketing representatives.”
A highlight for both girls, Laura Francini said, was a Kids Health Goes Gold luncheon held Sept. 5 that featured U.S. Olympic athletes Gabby Douglas, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Dana Vollmer, Rebecca Soni, Lauren Cheney and Abby Wambach.
“I liked that (the athletes) were saying they eat healthy things instead of junk food,” the girls blogged. “They said they eat vegetables and fruits and drink healthy beverages.”
And while they were chasing down celebrities and politicians, the girls got their own small taste of fame. Scarlett and Margot were featured on a Huffington Post “Street Style at the Democratic National Convention” slideshow.
Noah Allemeier, another Pine Lake Prep third-grader, took a day off from school to tour the convention happenings. Noah and his family attended a Friday taping of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The young Huntersville resident met politicians, including Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (son of Vice President Joe Biden), Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois.
“He got a lot of nice autographs where they would write ‘good luck in good school, Noah,’” Noah’s mother, Susan Allemeier said.
In exchange for missing class, Noah will present a report to his classmate about his experiences at the Democratic National Convention. Susan Allemeier said the significance of occasion sunk in when Noah asked his parents when was the last time they did this.
“I told him ‘We have never done anything like this. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,’” Susan Allemeier said. “We were so lucky to get to experience it.”