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By Frances Borsodi Zajac email@example.com
Published Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:15 AM EDT
With campaign stops in the daily news, signs supporting candidates in front lawns and political commercials – often nasty — dominating television programming, it’s no wonder that the youngest of American citizens are puzzled by what’s going on in the U.S. presidential election race.
As many children do, they ask their teacher.
Natalie Doman, who teaches third grade at Brownsville Area Elementary School in Brownsville, saw this as an opportunity to educate.
She explained, “The children came to me with questions. I’m teaching more about policy and process. I teach them it’s okay to have an opinion but not to push it on others. And I’m careful not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We make sure everyone’s feelings are taken into account.’’
Then combining social studies and writing lessons, Doman asked her students to write essays titled, “If I Were Elected President …’’
The children, ages 8 and 9, responded thoughtfully, writing promises to be nice, take care of others and lower taxes.
“I would also make a rule that no one is allowed to scare anyone,’’ wrote Emilee Bugai.
“I don’t want any more war hurting people and I also really don’t want any more school on Mondays,’’ wrote Aliya Davis.
“We need to build animals up off the endangered list,’’ wrote Giselle Kovach.
Ava Clark wrote, “Everyone deserves a warm place to live.’’
Many are fascinated about living in the White House and the celebrity of being president with Za’Mya Paes writing, “I may even be on the Disney Channel.’’
After sharing their essays with the Herald-Standard, most of the children said they enjoyed the assignment.
“It was pretty challenging but fun,’’ said Gage Rogers.
Logan Chisler said, “I’m proud of what I wrote.’’
Students are intrigued by the power of the presidency, with Camden Wellington saying, “You get to do whatever you want and help a lot of people.’’
The students understand with privilege comes responsibility.
Geoffrey Douglas said, “It would be hard and easy to be president because you have to do what’s right for the country.’’
Here are excerpts from their essays:
Preston Gordon: “I will change everything, such as make everything free. Cars, dirt bikes, food and quads would all be free for everyone.’’
Aliya Davis: “I would give away lots of homes, food and clothes. Another thing I would do is help others in need. I would never be mean and always be nice. A place I would rebuild is Brownsville, Pennsylvania. I don’t want any more war hurting people and I also really don’t want any more school on Mondays.’’
Logan Chisler: “One of the things I would do is give homeless people homes and money. Another thing I would do is make Pittsburgh a better place by making two more hospitals in the city. Another thing I would do is stuff in Washington, D.C. I am not sure what I would do there, because I have not been there, but I know I could do great things there! … The thing I would do in the lovely New York City is stop any bad people from exploding buildings. In Washington, I would also make the beautiful White House even more beautiful by making it bigger. I will add a third level with an elevator and a lot of vending machines. Since I will add vending machines, I will make a vending machine room! Finally, I will add Lego Land and Disney World.’’
Kenya Shaw: “I would get to live in the White House and you wouldn’t have to cook. You would have lots of money, so you could buy everything. I would buy lots of purses and perfume. I always wanted to be president, and if I was I would have lots of fans. They would call me Miss Kenya.”
Lexi Lewandowsky: “I would donate 1,000 dollars to the children’s hospital. We need more schools because we need to learn. I would make a rule that you only have to be 32 years old to be a doctor. I think that I would be a great president. I hope to become President of the United States because I really want to live in the White House. I wonder how many rooms are in the White House? I really hope I get elected one day.’’
Emalee Bugai: “I would make sure all children did not have school on Fridays. The reason for this is because Friday is like a weekend. The other thing that I would change is that I would make sure that no one does bad stuff. That’s not nice at all! The next thing that I would change is that I would put Kennywood in each neighborhood so kids can play anytime. I would also make it a rule that no one is allowed to scare anyone. I do not like that, so no one else should like it either. Let’s also only have homework only on the computer. It is better because it is fun to type. I would make fun homework.”
Braedon White: “I would make people have more recess in school because we need more exercise. I would make people happy because some people are bullies, but some people are nice. If you are a bully some people might get punished if I were president.’’
Slade Johnson: “I would donate 10,000 to sick kids. I would hope they got better. I would not like to be president because it would be hard. There would be way too many things to do.’’
Benjamin Vojacek: “I would make sure that no bad people would step foot in our country. I would improve and train our military. I would support our troops, and give homes and food to the ones in need. I would protect our country so no bad guys from other countries can kill any more of our troops.’’
Hannah Zinn: “I would lower taxes. I would lower the speed limit. I would make all stores open 24 hours and make scissors not sharp so they can’t hurt anybody. Buses would have seat belts so kids won’t get hurt.’’
Samuel Vollstedt: “I would try to make people happy. I would also try to help other countries. I would give them food, water and other things they needed. I would be happy, too. I would like telling people about my job of being president. I would like to talk to kids a lot. I would answer all of their questions. They would like me.’’
Giselle Kovach: “I would make more programs for bats, tigers and other animals. I would transfer animals to forests and make sure to know which forests were better for the animals. We need to build animals up off the endangered list. I hope all these animals are not going to go extinct. Animals are my favorite thing in the world!’’
Ava Clark: “The first thing I would do is give all homeless people food and a house to live in. Everyone deserves a warm place to live. I would also make sure everyone has free health care because everyone should be able to go to the doctor when you aren’t feeling well. As president, I would also make sure every county has a Community Center for kids to learn and play. The last thing I would do is give presidents to kids in the hospital. Our country would be a better place if I were president.’’
Geoffrey Douglas: “I would treat everyone the same. I would be nice and equal. I would build new places like “Super Geoffrey’s’’ where you could get gas, get your car fixed and eat at a fast food restaurant. It would be so cool to be president. If I were elected, I would live in the White House. What would be in it? I don’t know…but one day I hope to see.”
Matthew Kishel: “I would charge no taxes to people so they don’t have to pay any money. I would make some items free like candy! I would up the speed limit. I’ll ban ants from the country. I’ll ban rats from the country. I’ll give every single person from Pennsylvania and Virginia one thousand dollar bills.’’
Nicholas Roger Attama: “I would destroy all threats to humankind. I’m going to try to get rid of tobacco and get rid of wheel bugs. I want to get rid of homework. I want to break down the wall that Trump made. I want to get rid of all the drugs and alcohol and all things that are bad. Then the world will be a much better place.’’
Camden Wellington: “I would make a steel and brick wall only to protect our soldiers. This would be so the bad people can’t get in. I think that will be a big help. I would not just put a wall. The soldiers need more practice so if the bad people do get in, they will be ready. This wall I’m thinking of will help people from getting hurt. I saw them on TV before and they can do it.’’
Gage Rogers: “I would be nice and cheerful. I would do nice things like give people fruit. I would also give them toys and phones, too. I would also give them new houses and new beds.’’
Lauren Meeks: “I would make bullying stop. I would be a good president, because I would help all the people. My Mom would be so proud of me! I don’t like when people fight, and if I’m president, I will keep people from fighting.’’
Za’Mya Paes: “I would have lots of fans and my name would be Mrs. Paes. I would live in a big pretty house and it would be white. I would be rich and pretty, and would always be on TV. I would have a DVD! That is how famous I would be. I would even have a board game. I may even be on the Disney Channel.”
Paityn Ansell: “I would ban bad guys from the United States of America. I would never let them come back until they learn their lesson, then they can come back. Then they can stay in our country if they behave. I will go back to the White House and make sure the Army generals watch my children in their rooms. The White House has five bathrooms! That’s how my life would be if I were president.’’
Hannah Talbert: “I would make ice cream free because ice cream is good. I wold also tell the mayor of Brownsville to make a Chili’s restaurant in Brownsville. I would like being president of the United States. Being the leader would be fun to do as a job, but I do not really like doing work all the time. I would make everybody who lived in the United States do the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Being president would be hard because you have to do a lot of hard work every single day. I really do want to become president when I grow up.’’
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