They were there for a field trip of the Minnesota State Capitol, but one St. Francis Elementary (SFE) School class got the experience of a lifetime.
Thanks to a enthusiastic tour guide, Kim Grzesiak’s fifth-graders got to see state and sports history being made May 14.
Their tour guide came out and told the group the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill was about to be signed and they had to hurry to see it, said Grzesiak.
Her students followed the tour guide up the stairs to the gallery above the rotunda, where the landmark event was about to take place.
They were the only SFE class to get the chance to see the signing, Grzesiak said.
With their bird’s eye view, the 26 students watched as Gov. Mark Dayton, flanked by Minnesota Vikings football team owners Mark and Zygi Wilf, signed the historic bill.
“It was amazing to watch history being made and for the kids to watch the legislation (being created),” Grzesiak said.
During the ceremony, the students were able to ask questions.
“They wanted to know why the governor used so many pens,” Grzesiak said.
In addition to watching Dayton sign the stadium bill, the students also saw a demonstration of free speech.
There were protesters at the signing who were shouting and carrying signs, Grzesiak said.
The students wanted to know why the protesters were yelling, while the governor was talking, she said.
“So, we talked about the right to free speech,” Grzesiak said.
The students all thought watching the signing was cool because it was the Vikings, she said.
Watching the bill signed was likely a once in a lifetime experience for most of them, Grzesiak said.
All that most of them could say was “wow,” she said.
“They will remember this forever. It was amazing,” said Grzesiak.
“It was equally as awe inspiring for me.”
After the signing and listening to Dayton’s speech, Grzesiak’s class continued on the capitol tour that included the House of Representatives chambers, the roof top with the chariot statue and the Minnesota Supreme Court.
The students also were able to met the Minnesota Legislature District 17 Senator Sean Nienow from Cambridge.
“They though it was awesome to meet with the district senator,” Grzesiak said.
“It was such a rich experience.”
Tammy Sakry is at