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Kinder-kids Rising

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Kevin G. Gallagher and Jean.

City Hall was over-run by kinder-kids on June 4th. The visitors were a happy delegation from Room 103, a kindergarten class at Bryant Elementary. These brainy five and six year-olds were displaying their knowledge of City Hall and the elected officials who work there.

When I ran into them, almost literally, they were walking down an inner hallway on the second floor, the councilmanic floor of City Hall.

IMG_4217In unison, they asked, “Jean Godden, Jean Godden, why do you like libraries?” It was quite awesome to be recognized by name and by the committee (Libraries, Utilities and Center) that I chair. Yes, these kids could put their elders to shame, knowing by name all nine councilmembers and their responsibilities.

They had been schooled by their teacher, Kevin G. Gallagher, who for the past five years has taught his students about their government. He has developed a curriculum that inspires students to learn about their government at national and local levels.

IMG_4226Gallagher will tell you that he, in turn, was inspired by the words of President Barack Obama who, during his first inaugural speech said: “we can do more.” That’s when Gallagher decided to teach civics to his kindergarten charges. He helps them to know and understand government.

The class trip to City Hall, accompanied by parents and helpers, was the sum of their experience. They met with officials and staff, they tried out the chairs in City Council chambers and they presented a book of essays and pictures about their civic experiences. The booklet is titled “We LIKE Seattle.” Each precious essay contains their thoughts, some phrased phonetically, but perfectly understandable. What a thrill to meet such scholars and to be able to treasure the pictures and words.

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