Bay Area students write President Obama
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you had a chance to talk to President Barack Obama, what would you ask him? Well, students from schools around the Bay Area are writing him letters and sharing their hopes for the future.
The letters written to the president start out with a simple salutation such as, "Dear President Obama, my name is Natalya..." What follows are examples of a child's vast curiosity like, "Do you wear a suit every day? Do you play Angry Birds?" and questions even adults would like to ask such as, "How do you feel about Romney losing? Do you feel sorry for him?"
The fifth graders at Edison Charter Academy in San Francisco are participating in a program called "Mail To the Chief" organized by Handwriting Without Tears. The idea is to encourage students to get interested in government.
"Anything that you want to write is fine, OK? It's your letter," said teacher Bianca Colon-Taylor to one of her students.
This year the students have been particularly interested in what's happening in their communities and around the world, and they're not holding back.
"Are you going to deal with the problems in Egypt?" Natalya Foley asked.
"What are you going to do about gangs? Kids are getting shot. I can name five people who have been shot and killed. Maybe start more programs to get kids out of gangs. Were you ever in a gang?" asked Ruben Ellis, a fifth grader.
Despite being so young, these kids aren't afraid to share their hopes for the future.
"Dear President Barak Obama, do you think a woman would ever be President? Are you going to help animals on the endangered species list? I think you should or they will all die," said Leila Khalid, a fifth grader.
"I think you should give more money to schools so they can do plays, field trips, projects and give more education," said Foley.
"And if you think about it, this is the generation that's going to be taking care of us and it's important that they understand and have a world view and really feel they can make a difference," said Colon-Taylor.
Foley wants the president to know how higher taxes would impact her family.
"My mom, she has to pay a lot of money because she has to get food for me and my siblings," said Foley.
The first graders at the school are also writing their own letters, with a few simple requests for the president -- give us puppies and as president you should wear jeans.
The letters will be mailed out before the holidays. While the kids know the president is pretty busy, they do expect him to respond.
"Please take your time to write back. You have been a helpful president and I think you will have a big impact on our country. Sincerely, Leila," said Khalid.
Sealed, signed and soon to be delivered.
barack obama, education, lyanne melendez
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