The Valdosta Daily Times
Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.
Ideas vary from walking around downtown and talking to people to ideas on improving the literacy rate, decreasing the crime rate and the unemployment rate.
The top three winning essays, printed in today’s edition, show how deeply the children of our community think and feel about the issues facing us all. While it is at times assumed that young students’ minds are filled with video games, TV and social media interests, it’s good to be reminded that they actually have deep and intuitive thoughts on a variety of issues. Adults simply don’t often ask the right questions in the right way.
What the winning students demonstrate is that they are deeply concerned about the same issues adults are concerned about, but they are also much more concerned about the environment and cleaning up the city.
Clean water, cleaning trash and litter off of the ground, and creating a safe environment to live in are concerns expressed in all three essays.
Perhaps adults should ask children more often how they feel about the community where they live and actually pay attention to the answers. These students know that if something looks trashy and isn’t clean, other problems aren’t far behind.
If the essay winners are any indication of what the future holds for Valdosta, we are in good hands, and if any of these children decide to make it official and run one day for the office of Mayor, they’ve already got a terrific outlook on issues that need attention.