Second grade students at Carder Elementary School recently learned firsthand about the role of government, specifically city government, and what it is like to be a mayor. Teacher Ms. Kate Borkowski said it began with a reading lesson that resulted in a letter writing effort by the students, inviting the Corning Mayor, Mr. Bill Boland, to visit them at school.
Ms. Borkowski said, “My students were studying different types of leaders and qualities that make for successful leadership during our Into Reading Module. The students read a selection about government and became curious about the differences between the mayor and the governor. This also tied in with our social studies discussions of geography and communities. Through our discussion, we decided as a class to each write an invitation letter to Mayor Bill Boland to see if he could help answer some of our questions. We mailed our letters to city hall and received a prompt response from Mr. Boland saying he'd be happy to come chat with us.”
The visit took place last week, with all Carder second graders participating in a Question and Answer session with Mayor Boland. Among the first things they learned was that Mayor Boland attended Carder Elementary! Ms. Borkowski said, “The students were very excited about Mr. Boland taking time to share more about his job, what it takes to be a mayor, and why it's important to be involved in our community. Many students chose to dress up as professionals for the day. They prepared thoughtful questions such as ‘What is the best part of your job?’ to ‘How did you become the mayor?’ and ‘What are some of your responsibilities?’ They gained an understanding of some of the different city services, how an election works, and important qualities of leadership.”
She added, “I think that it's vital for our students to form connections with our local leaders, have a deeper understanding of what makes our community run, and how they can be involved. The Mayor was engaging, inspiring, and patient while answering our questions and providing positive messages about our community and leadership.”
Mayor Boland gave students examples of things they could relate to that the city is responsible for, such as the ice rink, pool, picking up leaves, plowing snow and the police and fire departments. He said his favorite part of the job is working with people.
Carder “Student Mayor” Owen was chosen to meet Mr. Boland upon his arrival and moderate the questions the students had written prior to the visit.