Glenwood Springs fourth-graders are president for a day |

Glenwood Springs fourth-graders are president for a day

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Christine Sullivan asked her Sopris Elementary fourth-graders in Glenwood Springs what they would do if they were president of the United States for one day. Their responses were not as childish as she expected and were rather insightful. She was impressed.

“I was just amazed at how aware they were of the issues,” Sullivan said.

The students wrote about topics such as the war in Iraq, lowering taxes, energy independence and saving the environment.

“If I were President for a day I would stop the war,” wrote Tristen Howe.

“If I was a President for at least one day I would love to help the poor,” wrote Yaquelin Ruiz.

“If I were President for a day I would lower gas prices,” wrote Kathryn A. Quintero.

“If I were President for a day … I would stop people from littering the Earth,” wrote Eleanor Rowe. But, first she would like to stop global warming because, “I would like the world to live longer,” she added.

With these fourth-graders it’s pretty black and white. There’s not much gray area in their essays about their feelings on the current state of affairs. Their essays hung in the hallway of Sopris Elementary for everyone to read. It was obvious that these youngsters had educated themselves on a variety of issues facing the two candidates running for the highest office in the United States.

Sullivan, the school’s technology teacher, came up with the idea while teaching her students about how America’s electoral process works.

“We did a little electoral thing in class where they got to vote,” Sullivan said. “And this was just an extension of that. I just thought it would be kind of fun to see what they thought.”

The democratic process in action at the age of 9.

Yaquelin Ruiz thought the project was very valuable and gave her a taste for politics.

“I was excited because I wanted to tell what I really want to do if I were president,” she said, her pig-tails bouncing to her words emphasizing her passion, her smile bright and sincere.

“I always wanted to help the poor. It’s like my favorite thing to do,” she continued. “We do that a lot, and we feel bad for the poor because they don’t have food and stuff. So I like to help them.”

Tristen Howe’s main concern was the war in Iraq.

“Making peace is important,” he said. “I would make peace.”

His letter detailed his plans.

“First, here are some ways to make peace. My first idea is to make a treaty. Second, another idea is trying to make peace with their leader. Last, my final idea is … plan a sneak attack on Iraq. I want to help the world, God bless America,” he wrote.

These young voices echoed similar concerns of older generations.

“You have to remember that they are only fourth-graders,” Sullivan said. “But, they’ve got such a good grasp of the issues.”

Each of the students, still nine years away from casting their own ballots, wrote in a short, one-page essay about not only what, but how they would address the issues they felt were most important.

What would you do if you were president for a day?

Contact John Gardner: 384-9114

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