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Learning About Local Government

County Commissioner Tracy Kuehler visited third-grade students at Poplin Elementary on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. Kuehler’s visit was part of a Social Studies unit about local government. Students prepared for Kuehler’s visit by visiting the Union County’s government website, reading about government officials, and preparing questions to ask.

Students asked about the commissioner meetings and Kuehler showed students her meeting packet that was about one-inch thick. She said she has to read all of this before the meeting and she has at least two meetings a week. She compared her meeting packet to the students homework. Third grader Sallie Garner said, “Commissioner Kuehler has a lot of homework. It makes it look like our homework is one problem only!”

Kuehler shared how she got involved in local government. When a neighborhood was being built too close, in her opinion, to her home Kuehler decided to find out what she could do about it. She said she started learning about laws and policies. She said she became very interested and realized she wanted to find out how to solve the problem. Kuehler said, “Just like you have to research information in your school library, in my job as a commissioner I have to research all sides of an issue so I can make the most informed decision.”

Kuehler offered advice to students as they wrapped up their visit. When asked what could be the best thing they can do for their community, Kuehler said, “You need to know what is going on. You need to be aware of things like if there is a lot of trash in your community or if you see a dog not on a leash, then whatever it is, you need to do something about it. Make sure you don’t ignore the problem and you find a solution.”

Afterwards students shared what they learned. Brelynn Lux, a third-grader in Kim Parker’s class said, “I learned that Mrs. Kuehler is in the local government. I learned that government work can be fun.” Ben Miller, another third-grader in Kim Parker’s class said, “I learned that county commissioners help all of us to live and grow in this community.”

Written by: Beth Medlin, Media Coordinator and Kim Parker, Third-Grade Teacher
Posted: Oct 19, 2012 by Beth Medlin

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