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Visit with children a real eye-opener

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POSTED: December 28, 2011 7:00 a.m.

One of my favorite activities as a state senator is when I get to speak to students at our local schools. This year, I spoke to third-grade students at May Howard Elementary and Marshpoint Elementary in Chatham County and Button Gwinnett Elementary in Liberty County.
The students from each of the schools had been studying civics and were familiar with the three branches of government — executive, judicial and legislative. I explained my role as a senator in the legislative process and told the children how the citizen legislature in the state of Georgia works.
Presenting each of the schools with a Georgia state flag, I explained the three principles for which the state flag stands — wisdom, justice and moderation — and had them recite the pledge to the flag with me. 
The students at all three schools were bright, respectful and well-disciplined — a tribute to their families and especially to their teachers, who had prepared the students for my visit with ideas for great questions.
The students in Ms. Hutchinson’s class at Marshpoint Elementary were impressive in singing the preamble to the Constitution during my visit. What a great way to learn such an important part of our nation’s history — another wonderful example of the great job our teachers are doing.
I was delighted last week to receive thank-you letters from some of the students. Here are excerpts from a few of their letters:
 
Dear Mr. Carter,
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come speak to us. I learned so much! I learned that there are two kinds of Pledge of Allegiances. That is pretty cool.
Do you travel all over the world do you? I really like that you taught me more about the three branches of government.
— Megan
 
Dear Sen. Carter,
Thank you for telling us about your job and your favorite thing about your job. I liked the Georgia state flag. I still have more questions. Do you have to work on Saturday and Sunday? Are you the only one who makes the laws?
Yours truly,
Ryleigh 


Dear Sen. Buddy Carter,
Thank you for coming and letting us have a little bit of your time. I want you to know that I learned something new. The Georgia pledge! Justice, wisdom and modesty! Thanks again!
— Liam
 
Dear Sen. Buddy Carter,
Thank you for coming and helping us learn more about the government and some of your job. Thank you for giving us a Georgia flag. It was fun when you came. Thank you for giving us some questions so we could answer them.
P.S. Did you ride in a limousine? I was going to ask you a question but then I forgot. But now I remember. How many rooms are there where you work? You can send me a note if you can.
Your friend,
Erin
 
I’m uncertain whether the students learned as much from me during my visit as I learned from them. One thing that I was reminded of was the honesty that comes from the innocence of childhood. I wasn’t quite sure how to interpret some of the questions, such as the one asked in this letter:
 
Dear Sen. Carter,
I loved your speech. Thanks for coming to our school. I think my favorite part was when we held the flag. It was so fun! I have a question: How many people voted for you?
Sincerely,
Shelly
 
I also was more than a little concerned about a recurring question in the thank-you notes that was posed to me during one of my visits by a beautiful, brown-eyed girl who, with a very serious look on her face, asked “Did you ever get re-elected be-fore?”


What a great group of young people! My faith and hope in our future has been reassured. What an amazing job our families and teachers are doing on a daily basis to support and encourage our next generation. Thank you for your dedication to teaching our leaders of tomor-row.

Sen. Buddy Carter can be reached at Coverdell Legislative Office Building (C.L.O.B.) Room 301-A, Atlanta, GA, 30334. His Capitol office number is 404-656-5109

 

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