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Kingston talks government with 3rd grade
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Congressman Jack Kingston had a visit with Richmond Hill Elementary’s 3rd grade students on Tuesday.

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Richmond Hill Elementary School had a visit from Congressman Jack Kingston on Tuesday morning, Nov. 27, to talk to the school’s 3rd graders about government.

Kingston started off by saying how much the world has changed since he was in 3rd grade, touching upon students’ ability to email friends and family across the globe, bringing it to a point on the importance of their education.

"The reason why it’s important to you, when you study your math, science and spelling and everything you’re learning, is that you’re going to be competing in a world that’s international," he said. "Children in China, Japan and Germany – they’re all doing what you’re doing now. So for you to learn your lessons is very, very important because that’s the world you’re going to be living in."

Kingston had an interactive discussion about a variety of topics regarding general information about what government does, down to more specific things like what the president’s Air Force One, Marine One and limousine transports are like.

One student asked how one goes about making something bulletproof; Kingston stressed how important it is for students to learn, because a mathematician and scientist helped create bulletproof windows and vests the president uses.

"Another one of the things Congress does, is we vote on going to war," he said in regard to students whose parents are serving in Iraq.

"We want your father or mother to have the biggest and best gun, the biggest and best tank, the best equipment and the best binoculars. Because they’re not going over there to play, they’re going over there to fight. We want to make sure they have the absolute best protection possible," he said. "We want to make sure our soldiers at Fort Stewart and everywhere else have the best equipment so nothing happens to them. And we want them to win, so they can come home as soon as possible."

He continued the discussion about how long the president can serve and who the presidential candidates running in the upcoming election are. One student wondered if George Clooney is a current candidate, another asked if Theodore Roosevelt is running these days. He made sure all the official candidates were discussed and talked about how our system of democracy and voting works.

Kingston said RHES’s 3rd graders are one of the only groups of students that immediately listed the three branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial – which he compared to as legs on a stool; all hold an equal amount of importance.

Kingston took questions and comments from the avid youngsters, like whether or not the president’s limo has a television – it does not – and the fact that one student and his father like to go hunting – Kingston replied that he does, too. But Kingston said they also asked some very pointed questions.

"Why did we start the war?" asked one student.

Kingston gave brief, candid answers about the war and America’s need for invasion to "fight the bad guys." He even answered a question about how much money he makes – $165,000 – which helps him afford two homes, including one in Washington, D.C., which he explained to the children, is an expensive place to live.

"You all are very smart kids," he said before leaving. "Smart kids ask a lot of questions, and you all had some very good ones."

Principal Walt Barnes said he had never had the privilege to hear from a congressman when he was in school; when the session concluded, he said the students had done a great job.

Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer said Kingston also did a good job.

"It was like a mini-town meeting for little people," she said. "He made the children very comfortable and he gave them history facts mixed with things that children would be interested in, such as bulletproof vests. I told him that our vice president of the board always says you’ve got to spend children’s time well. He said they won’t remember by dinner, but I told him they always report back to their parents and would have something really special to tell them tonight."

Brewer said one thing she really appreciates from Kingston is that, whenever he visits a Bryan County school, he always has something good to say about the district, and makes a point of saying thank you.

"You can imagine what that means to me," she said.

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