Learning about Community

As Kent Mayor Dana Ralph walked into a Panther Lake Elementary classroom, students cheered and celebrated as they prepared to showcase their special brochures about the city of Kent. As part of their social studies curriculum on community, Naomi Maxwell and Kristy Gomez’s second-grade students were given the opportunity to ask the mayor questions and learn what it is like to oversee the sixth-largest city in Washington State. “We planned this project to give students an opportunity to learn about their community and tell other people about what makes Kent special,” said second-grade teacher Naomi Maxwell.

The Mayor originally sent a video message to the class, and in that video message, “the mayor told them they needed to recruit more people to come to Kent … that is where the idea for the brochures came in, and the kids decided they were going to make brochures that they can distribute to people to recruit them to come to Kent,” said Pam Pogson, principal of Panther Lake Elementary.

Once the students completed their brochures, it was time for Mayor Ralph to come and speak with the students and see the amazing brochures they created. Students were excited to meet Mayor Ralph and asked, “what does a mayor do,” and “how did you become the mayor of Kent?” Students showed their excitement when Mayor Ralph explained the process of how to become mayor and how they, too, could one day serve the Kent community as its mayor. “We were so honored to have Mayor Ralph visit our class. The students were so motivated to create a project that the mayor was a part of. It added a lot of purpose to the project and students’ work as real authors,” said Maxwell.

Throughout this experience, students showcased their artistic skills, presentation skills and learned insights about what makes Kent a special place to live. Naomi Maxwell hopes her students are leaving this experience understanding the impact they can have in the community too. “I hope that students will remember that they [can work] hard to create something meaningful … I also hope that they will become curious about different ways to become leaders in the community in the future, especially after meeting Mayor Ralph and hearing about her experience becoming involved in local government.”

Article Source: Kent Meridian High School