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Kingston provides government lesson
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., speaks to Smiley Elementary students about government work. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Smiley Elementary School students last week participated in a lesson on government functions, taught by a person who has a hand in establishing government policy — U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga.
Kingston spoke to Smiley’s 12 third-grade classes and discussed different government sectors.
Long County Board of Education Chairman Dempsey Golden was happy to have the congressman stop by. “By seeing Congressman Kingston here, the students begin to have a connection with the government that represents us. It is very valuable for the children to actually see people who have been elected because then they can get a better understanding of how our system of government works,” Golden said.
Kingston focused his presentation on the three branches of government and how laws are created. He also explained taxes to the children. One student asked the congressman whether taxes go to him.
 “The taxes kind of go to me first, but then they go to the school board, and then the school board can build a nice gymnasium like you have here, and they can buy school buses to get you to school. And the taxes even pay for the roads that the buses drive on,” Kingston said.
SES media specialist Susan Fuentes said the congressman’s lesson was informative and tied in nicely with the third-graders’ current curriculum on U.S. economics and how taxation works.
After Kingston wrapped up his speech, students lined up to ask him questions.
One third-grader asked whether the congressman had ever met President Barack Obama. Kingston replied, “Yes, I have, and I talked with him about some things I agree with him on and about some other things that I want to work with him on.”
Another student asked how long Congress works. Kingston said, “Until the work is done, sometimes that is from January through August, or eight or nine months out of the year. And sometimes we’re in Washington for 12 months. It just depends on how long it takes us to get everything done.”
SES media center para professional Gina Riddle coordinated the event. “It was a great presentation. Jack was very personable and the kids seem to enjoy hearing him explain about the government,” she said. “I personally want to thank him for coming today, and I know that the whole school system appreciates him coming.”

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