Dear Mr. Obama


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Between now and Jan. 20, the Post-Gazette will publish letters written by local students to President-elect Barack Obama, who will be inaugurated as the nation's 44th president. They will appear intermittently in the My Generation section. The following are from fifth-graders at Liberty Elementary School.

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I am a fifth-grade student at Liberty Elementary School. I am writing to you for a school project. These are some things I think you should do while you're in office.

My family discusses alternative energy a lot. I think you need to look into it, such as solar panels and wind power. We need to get them at lower, less expensive prices so more people will be willing to buy it. We should also get more organizations that sell alternative energy. It would be nice to get totally electric automobiles, but that can't happen quickly so you could start with having a law that cars, trucks and other things like that have to have a certain miles per gallon.

Another thing I think is very important is to get out of the war in Irack. Many lives would be saved and it would show that the government cares for its people. Families would be happy to be together again and they would thank you and the rest of the government. There would be a lot more money going to other things such as alternative energy, schooling and libraries.

The last thing I encourage you to do is put more money into schools. There is one school I go to on Fridays. The work there is more challenging and interesting. I think school should be fun for everyone, not just the advanced kids. These are the things I thought of to raise grades and make kids not despise school days.

You could put people into level groups. The high- and medium-graded people would work together, and the low and rest of the medium people would work together. One of my teachers told me there was research about group teaching and kids learned most this way. The medium-level kids brought their grade up to an advanced grade and the low-level kids brought their grade up to a medium level.

Teachers should be able to improvise more. They could make it more interesting. If it is interesting kids will want to go to school, not dread it. It will also make them pay closer attention.

The last way I thought of to help raise grades is having a few periods in each day when medium and advanced kids go to a different class. Then the teachers can focus on kids who take a little more time to really learn the lesson well, and not be distracted by the kids who finish their work quickly. At the same time, the other kids can be doing more challenging work so they are learning, rather than doing the same repetitive things over and over again.

I hope, even though I am just a child, you consider what I have said. It may prove helpful to you in the future.

Maya Lapp, age 10

Dear President-Elect Obama,

Do you really think that kids want to wait till they are 18 till they drive?

I believe that kids should drive at the age of 16. It is a better age because it will teach kids to be responsible if they are not already responsible enough at that age. They should be tall enough to reach the pedals. Think of it like this. A 20-year-old driver who started driving at 18 would have only two years of experience but a 20-year-old who started driving at age 16 would have twice the experience.

Now you might think that driving at 16 is too young to start, but you are forgetting one thing. The driving test. The driving test makes sure that if you are not ready to drive, you don't.

I hope you see my point of view and change the law.

Sincerely,
Neil Pandya, age 10

Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,

This letter is to give you some ideas about what you can do to help our country's economy. One thing you can do is try to stop the Iraq war. It would be a good idea to stop the war because a lot of money goes into the war, which means taxes have a 95 percent chance of going up.

Besides that, we are losing lots of people in the war, which means that a lot of children are being left behind without a parent. Also, a lot of young adults are being killed in the war.

One more thing that can help to improve our economy is to prepare children for the future by improving the school system and its technology.

Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,
Maria Vaccarello, age 10

Dear President-Elect Barack Obama,

Here are two major problems in the U.S. that you can try to fix.

The first one is pollution. A lot of animals are dying because of pollution. Fish are dying from garbage being dumped into their habitat. People are dumping barrels of toxins into the oceans and many sea animals are losing food.

Another problem in the U.S. is global warming. In the future, all the land will be flooded with water because the icebergs are melting and the sea level is rising.

Anna Devinney, age 10



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