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Woodlan students write President; he writes back

WOODBURN, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — Second graders at Woodlan Elementary School wrote letters to President Trump about their concerns with safety at school bus stops and added their recommendations for solutions.

To their astonishment, the president wrote back.

“Dear Mr. President. I am eight years old. I think there is a problem with bus stop safety.”

In January, the students grew increasingly concerned about safety at bus stops after an SUV hit and killed three siblings crossing the road to get to their bus.

“It was something they identified with. They saw the need, there were news stories going around about students being hurt in bus accidents with other vehicles, so it hit home for them,” says Woodlan’s principal Michael Chen.

“We need tougher laws and tougher punishments.”

Their teacher, Miss Kowatch, encouraged them to use the power of their voices, so they wrote letters to President Trump expressing their concern about the problem and offering potential solutions.

“I have some ideas. Buses need external cameras on the outside.”

The students learned the proper way to craft a letter, how to address an envelope, and how to mail it.

Copies of their letters hang prominently in the hallway.

Much to their surprise, President Trump wrote back.

“I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your suggestions with me. Mrs. Trump and I are inspired by young people like you… with best wishes, Donald Trump.”

“I was so excited when I got it, and when I got home I hung it up in my bedroom. And my mom and dad thought it was cool,” second grader Aiden Smith says.

Each student received a letter on embossed White House stationery, addressed to them in individual envelopes, with President Trump’s signature at the bottom.

“I was thinking at first that I wouldn’t get a letter back. And I just really want him to be able to listen to us and hear the struggles that we are having,” second grader Makayla Mellon says.

Now the class is writing letters back to President Trump thanking him for his response.

But it’s not just a matter of finding a potential pen pal in the Oval Office, these students are passionate about their cause.

“I wanted to write the president about bus stop safety because I felt that there are too many kids who are getting hit and hurt because of cars who do not stop. And buses have on their lights. It’s not the buses’ fault. It’s the people who need to stop for us, and need to listen and watch out for us walking past,” Makayla tells us.

It’s a message they hope President Trump will take to heart.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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