Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The USA (01/08/09)
TITLE: Ice Cream
By Mary McLeary
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The best civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade in 2000. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president.
To simplify the process candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.
The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia’s parents. The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, “If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream.” She sat down. The class went wild. “Yes! Yes! We want ice cream.”
I was stunned! She surely would say more. She did not. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn’t sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn’t know. The class really didn’t care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie, bless his heart, was forgotten. Olivia won by a land slide. She made a fine president. She bought the ice cream with the money the class collected when they each brought a $1.00. This wonderful class of children was a perfect reflection of the USA. They made me acutely aware of how most of our country’s decisions are made. Who ever has the ice cream wins.
The USA is a wonderful country and our classrooms are reflections of our society. We have taught our children to expect good things and to appreciate those who promise those good things.
In the USA we have become timid in telling others of Christ’s gift. We don’t want to offend or be ridiculed or arrested, but it seems to me that our society is longing for some one to promise them good things and salvation is the best thing of all.
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