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Students watch history happen

Students at Austin Elementary had the opportunity to witness history in the making as they viewed the television broadcast of President Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday in the library of Austin Elementary.
The students enjoyed getting to see the celebrations and speeches that occurred throughout the course of the day. Ennis ISD librarian Johna McGuire and library paraprofessional Marlene Steele organized the viewing of the inauguration for the students.
Ellen Pate, a third grade student at Austin, said she liked seeing Obama sworn into office. Gordon Gilmore, also a third grade student, enjoyed the swearing in as well.
The students were well aware that they were watching history being made. Natalie Keever, a fourth grade student, said she liked the fact that Obama made history by becoming the first African-American president. Keever also enjoyed watching the Obamas appear at the balls, she said. She thought the balls were beautiful. The students said they also liked seeing Obama walk in the parade.
“I actually liked watching the whole thing,” Keever said. “It was cool watching history being made by one of our presidents.”
Jeremy Perkins, a fourth grade student at Austin, said he enjoyed watching Obama give his speech.
When the students were asked what Obama’s presidency would mean for them, Pate said the economy and the way money is spent would get better and Perkins agreed that things would improve.
“I think it means better things are going to happen,” Perkins said.
Keever said she is thrilled about getting to participate in the rebuilding of America of which Obama spoke.
Samantha Maksud, a fourth grade student at Austin, said people will hopefully live in a more peaceful and prosperous nation with Obama as president.
“People’s lives today will change forever,” Maksud said. “They will have a better place to live.”
Obama becoming president meant that more jobs would open up, according to Gilmore.
The students hope Obama accomplishes numerous things during his presidency. Gilmore said he hopes Obama will lower taxes. Keever said she wants Obama to stop the war in Iraq and let everybody have peace.
The students also want Obama to help the needy of America.
“I want Obama to help everyone,” said Uriel Patlan, a fourth grade student at Austin.
Perkins and Gilmore both said they want Obama to give food and shelter to the needy.
“I hope he helps the homeless and provides shelter for them,” Perkins said.
The students said they learned a lot by watching the inauguration. Keever said she learned that every vote counts and you can do anything you want to do if you just set your mind to it.
“If you want to see something happen, you should just go for it no matter what your skin color,” Keever said.
Maksud said she believes that following your dream is important.
“You should follow your dream, and no matter what people say about it, you should still go for it,” Maksud said.
Many of the students were inspired by the Inauguration. Gilmore said he believed Obama to be a wonderful speaker and Perkins shared that sentiment, being inspired by Obama’s speech.
“I learned that if Obama can be president, anybody can be president,” Perkins said.
The students were shown the inauguration in the library at Austin Elementary. Learning about this historic moment integrated library lessons with classroom lessons, said McGuire. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) dictate that students in the third grade should be aware of their government and how individuals can change their communities and the world.
“The students learned to not be afraid to follow their dreams,” McGuire said. “If you try hard enough, you can do anything you want to do in life.”
Steele said that while students might not fully comprehend what is going on, it is important for them to know that they are witnessing history.
“I felt like at this age, while they might not be fully aware of what this president’s impact in history is and what it will mean for them, as they get older, they’ll realize how significant this particular inauguration was to their life, and where they were in this place in history,” Steele said.
Other students at Ennis campuses watched as Obama took the oath of office Tuesday.
Kids in Trisha Hodges and Maria Munoz’s Head Start class looked on, clapping at certain instances with no prompting from their teachers.
Additional campuses also had televesions tuned in to the inauguration to allow for their students to see history in the making unfold before their very eyes.

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Posted by on Jan 26 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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