JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students at the Nettleton Intermediate Center got a surprise visit from Congressman Rick Crawford on Wednesday.
4th and 5th grade listened to the 1st District Representative speak about the political process, our state's districts and how he himself first became interested in how our government works.
Gifted and Talented Instructor for NIC, Cheryl Russell, says students engaging one on one with someone like Congressman Crawford can make all the difference in their interest and education in that area. "This is a kick off to our study about elections," Russell said. "The election process, government, even on to presidents. For him to be able to share where he came from and where he is now, how he got there, they get a living picture of exactly what it is to be in government."
Congressman Crawford says it's very important to begin educating students about our country's government at an early age. "You can not overstate how important it is to talk to our kids," Crawford said. "You see what's going on in our country and this is not a political prerogative. This is an American prerogative. If we don't engage in the process, everybody has a role to play. Whether it be voting or running for an office at any level then, we get the government we ask for. And so, if we're not engaged by first registering to vote and going out and taking up that responsibility, then you really don't have a lot of reason to complain if you haven't been a part of the process. And I think that has to start early. That's what these kids here are doing and they seem real excited about that."
Congressman Crawford went over a number of different issues with students. "This group here, they're studying government," Crawford said. "And fifth grade is a fun grade with a lot of energy. There's a lot of enthusiasm here, so I'm just gonna talk about a brief overview of the government and how it works, from a federal level primarily. Kind of touch on a few other things and then I want to let the kids take it from there and let them ask me some questions."
Russell says she hopes students who listened to Crawford learn a lot and become motivated to make a difference in their community. "I hope the gifted and talented students," Russell said. "Here at NIC, learn how to be a better citizen and that maybe it will inspire some to move on into government and make a difference there also."
Congressman Crawford spoke to around 130 students and NIC and then moved on to speak to students at Fox Meadow Elementary.