The following is a guest post by North Dakota State Representative Gail Mooney. Elected to the legislature in 2012, Rep. Mooney serves on the Government Services Committee, the Human Services Committee, and the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. Rep. Mooney participated in our Grace for President Reading Project during Women’s History Month.
In late March, I had the pleasure of reading Grace for President to the second graders of Hillsboro (ND) Elementary School. Mrs. Liedholm and Mrs. Ferguson were gracious enough to open up their classes for an hour of reading, visiting and LOTS of questions!
When I started, I asked them all….Who wants to be President of the United States??!! Without hesitation they all raised their hands – boys and girls. Then I told them that in the really old days, when I was in the second grade, if anyone had asked me if I’d like to be President, it would never have occurred to me to raise my hand. They laughed and thought that was funny.
We read Grace for President, and they loved it. They were so engaged with the story, and they all agreed Grace should be President.
Afterwards we talked about dreams. I shared that when I was a little girl, my dream was to be an artist. Then they shared their dreams – artists, farmers, teachers – and presidents. 🙂
Then we talked about women in history – they shared a whole litany of GREAT women in history. I told them how impressed I was that they’d paid so much attention to all these wonderful women. But I also asked them: what about our great moms and great teachers?? Aren’t they historical in their own way?? They LOVED that!
We talked about the state legislature and what my job is all about. When I told them part of my job is to listen to them – to their parents and friends – they loved that. Mrs. Ferguson asked about any bills that didn’t pass that were disappointing. One that came to mind involved a requirement for seat belts in school buses. After discussing it, we decided we’d have a classroom vote on this bill so that I could bring that back with me in the next legislative session. They voted unanimously for safety and to have seat belts. I told them I will bring that bill forward in the next session and be sure to share their vote with my fellow legislators!
In the Q&A one little guy asked me if I’d ever found my dream of being an artist. So sweet that he remembered. I told them that YES! I had! And that I then discovered another dream of being in public office.
We finished with hugs galore – and a huge THANK you for the book donation.
So – with that – thanks so much to Teach a Girl to Lead™ for initiating this in honor of Women’s History Month. It was a hit on every level!
(Editor’s note: Thank YOU, Rep. Mooney, for helping teach the next generation – both girls and boys – about women’s public leadership!)