Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Kimball's fifth grade explores politics with Prunty and Erdman


Courtesy Photo

Following the 2016 election, Nebraska Senator-elect Steve Erdman had the opportunity to visit Laurie Janicek's fifth grade students alongside Kimball Mayor Keith Prunty.

The students' interest in politics grew after they participated in a November mock election, according to Janicek.

"After the election I told the class that I grew up in Bayard and that Senator-elect Erdman was a friend of mine," she said. "They started asking me questions about what our Senator does. So, I asked the class if they would like to meet with him."

"He was glad to come and talk to the fifth grade students," she added. "I thought Mayor Prunty would like to attend also, so I invited him too."

The students had wonderful questions for both of them, Janicek said. They asked Senator Erdman: Where will you live, while you are in Lincoln? How long do you have to stay in Lincoln? What does a Senator do? How do you make a law? Are you going to lower property taxes?

They asked a lot of questions about what he does for a living, Janicek added, as well as questions about his family, education, favorite teacher and subject in school.

These students asked Erdman how long he has to serve and where his office will be in the capital building, according to Janicek.

"He taught them the importance of agriculture," she added. He is also the first son-father to be elected to the senate – meaning his son was a senator first, then he was elected.

Prunty answered questions such as: why he wanted to be Mayor, if he likes his job, what hours he works and if he has to live in the city of Kimball to be Mayor?

"They really enjoyed having both Mayor Prunty and Senator-elect Steve Erdman here and did an awesome job representing Mary Lynch Elementary," Janicek said.

Each student found different aspects enjoyable and informative. Brandon Paxton said, "Senator Erdman gave us a packet, pencil, and his card, and told us if we ever had questions to give him a call."

Gage Schaeffer said, "I liked how he answered all of our questions and made it easy to understand."

"I liked how Senator Erdman told us about going to school in a one-room school in the country and he got in trouble the first day of school," Aaron Gillming said.

"They really learned a lot about how Nebraska's unicameral works," Janicek said. "He (Erdman) did a great job and answered the questions so the 5th graders could understand it."


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