IHoP-NH: Jonah Hannon Came to the State House For a Field Trip

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Paula Tracy, InDepthNH.org

Jonah Hannon visits the State House in Concord.

IHoP-NH – In the Hallways oPower-NH

Paula Tracy, InDepthNH.org

InDepthNH.org’s Paula Tracy talks every week with people from around New Hampshire who come to the State House and Legislative Office Building in Concord about why they do so.

We call her video column In the Hallways oPower-NH, IHoP-NH.


CONCORD – Just about every weekday, the New Hampshire State House hosts scores of elementary school children who come for a civics field trip from all over the state.

Those lucky enough to come on the twice a month Wednesdays when the Governor and Executive Council meets have a good chance of meeting the governor and watching the Council in action.

The children are quiet, orderly, dressed up a bit and when they are done they go outside, play on the State House lawn and eat sandwiches.

On Wednesday, World Academy of Nashua visited with their students.

Third-grader Jonah Hannon gave us a review and told us what he learned about what they do at the State House for this week’s IHoP-NH.

Jonah Hannon Paula Tracy video

Those lucky enough to catch the council in action are in for a bit of a treat.

Gov. Chris Sununu stops the meeting, asks the school children where they are from and then directs the executive councilor from their district to stand up from the table and personally welcome them to the State House.

Sununu steps away from his seat at the head of the table and asks them to come up single file to meet him. He asks them each their names and shakes their hand.

This takes a bit of time for the children, their teachers and chaperones to file through, but it likely leaves a lasting memory and gives everyone a break from contracts, nominations, and the complicated business of the state to see their faces.

“I’m Chris,” Sununu tells them.

Some of the children look terrified. Others have a little smirk. Some look away while others look the governor square in the eyes.

Then they head out the door and on to see what else is going on in the building. Sometimes they get to see the Senate vote, or the House may be in session.

Paula Tracy has more than 30 years of experience as a news reporter. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire’s writing program with a minor in local government studies, she spent five years as a daily reporter in Massachusetts before returning to her native state where she worked for 25 years as a senior staff reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader, then for several years at WMUR.

A resident of Center Harbor, Paula Tracy will be looking for you In the Hallways oPower-NH in Concord. Contact Tracy at paulatracy6@gmail.com.

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