{ 'I Like It When People Pay Taxes for Schools': the Education of a Constituency }
B. Clifford

[ The following letters were sent to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors (COBOS) of an East Coast county by the 3rd-grade students at a local elementary school, after COBOS visited in mid-January. The students learned the responsibilities of local decision-makers, such as COBOS, and were assigned certain positions to aid in their understanding of the local governing body's operations.

B. Clifford (whose name is not James) accompanied COBOS on this venture and culled these responses. While names have been changed or withheld to protect the privacy of the students, the following are direct transcriptions of their correspondence, spelling/syntax errors and all. ]

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The assembly was G-R-E-A-T! I ended up with $9,011,00 in bonds! I think that education could help traffic problems with teenagers, get it? By the way, my friend Charlie said that 1 out of every 7 adults can't locate the U.S. on a world map! I'm sure you could! Sincerely, S.G.

Thank you so much for your time to come and talk to us. Your presentation was very good and I learned a lot. I think it would be cool to be COBOS. By the way, your presentation was awesome! I bet you know a lot. I think maybe one day I will be COBOS. By the way does your assistant follow you everywhere? Do you like your job? Sincerely, M.B.

Thank you for coming to our school. I learned that people pay taxes. They pay taxes to help pay for schools, libraries, and many more things. It was nice knowing you. Sincerely, C.M.

Thank you for coming to our school. I learned that taxes pay for almost everything we have. I like that you provide parks for the citizens. I've wondered who you are for a long time. Sincerely, Fire Chief K.T.

I liked what you told us. I thought you were sweet. I thought the map you showed us was big. I also thought your helper guy was nice. Thank you for coming to visit the 3rd grade. Sincerely, L.H.

drawingThank you for coming to our school yesterday. You were kind enough to go share your time, thank you. You taught me that there are different departments in your job. Like there is the EDA, the Land Use, and the Bond. Thank you for picking me to be the EDA for that hour. That was fun when you asked those questions to the police, the fire chief, land use, and the EDA which I was. I would like to be COBOS. Sincerely, R.S.

Thank you for coming to our school. I learned you pay for things that have broken down. I like when people pay taxes for schools. Thanks for coming to teach us. Sincerely, A.L.

Thank you for coming. You provide some taxes, health, and other important things. Your friend, M.H.

Thanks for coming!!!! We licked your talk!!! You are nice!!!!! Come again soon. Sinceirly, J.

Thank you for coming to our school. I learned that taxis are private, not public. I like when ice is one the ground that you would send some sand to melt the ice. You were pretty. Sincerely, A.S.

Thank you for coming. I wasn't there for all of it, but I still learned. I learned that taxes pay for libraries, schools, and land. You are important. You're the best COBOS ever. From, T.

Yesterday I went to the doktor because I was sick. I take medicin that puts me to sleep. The medican tases very bad. When I got back from the doctor, I feel aslep. Then my sisters got back from school they woke me up. Then I went outside to get some air then I saw a fox. I got scard and ran back in to my mom and said there's a fox. From, K.

Thank you for coming to our school. I enjoyed listening to most of what you had to say to us. I like the maps the most!! Your assistant is really really nice. I had fun just thinking about what it's like being a COBOS. God Bless America, S.O.

I really appreciate you coming. Do you like your job? Is it fun? Is your schedule always busy? You are so nice and wonderful. I really like you and your job. Do you have any children? What job did you have when you were younger? Why are you COBOS? What do you do when someone steals something from you? Do you like it when someone calls you bad names? Love, E.T.

The whole 3rd grade really appreciated your outstanding speech. You taught us a lot. We want you to raise taxes so that we can raise money to have a better community. We should not have a lot of new funds because it is wasting money. We already have enough stores and restaurants. I send $150 each year or actually each 3 months. I look forward to seeing you again. Your Friend, O.

You were Great! You are very nice, and I like your big map. L.P.

I thank you for coming and teaching us about your job. Your job is cool. Is it fun? Or boring? You taught me many things. Do you have a lot of complaints come to you? You are a wonderful, friendly person to be with. I told my mom and dad how wonderful you were!! Bye!! Sincerely, D.C.

the queenI really enjoyed the time you took out of your busy day to come and teach. I just want you to know that you did a wonderful job and I hope you will come back and teach us more. I believe that you made the whole third grade learn new things. Later on this school year, if I still remember you, I will think of you as the COBOS that helped me learn. Your dearest Friend, S.K.

You are wonderful and excellent. I do hope you never retire. I appreciate you telling us about your job. The schedule of you is very big, so thank you for taking time for me. Your best friend, J.

Thank you for teaching us about your job. It sounds really hard, but it sure is important!!! It was pretty cool. I think you would have to have lots of experience to be a COBOS. Well actually, I know it!! Ha ha ha! Bye! From, A.B.

I really enjoyed your presetation. You are really great. And I'm not kidding, either! I really think you should be president because you really know lots of things. Sincerely, V.

Thank you for teaching us about what you do as COBOS. I learned that some jobs aren't getting enough money that they should and the taxes might need to be raised because of that. I thought that how you explained how everything worked was very good. My dad works for the Department of Education and you both inspire me to be a lawer. I learned that you decide if you are going to cut down trees or build office buildings. I didn't know that there were so many areas and I liked how you used the maps to explain that. Sincerly, E.R.

Hi my name is M. I learned that being a COBOS is hard. I was the one that said taxs. Thank you for coming and telling stuff. Right now we are learning about China. I learned that you don't pay your taxs you will go to jail. You built the roads. Your Friend, M.

Thank you for the presentation. I learned a lot from you like we have taxes and the workers need more money. I also learned that there are about ten people at each meeting you have. My favorite part was when you gave out jobs. It must be lonely being COBOS. One hour seemed so short because you are such a good speaker. I wish you had more time to talk to us because we learned so much. Sincerely, W.

Thank you for coming to our school. I learned that if you have 5 acres and you want to build houses, but your friend wants to build a park. From that I learned that eve if it's yours you don't get what you want. I also learned that you need to give money to the services, for the company to have better service. How does it feel to be a COBOS? How much money do you usually give away? How many people work for you? I bet a lot of people work for you. Where do you mostly go? Where do you like to go the best? Do you have to go out sometimes? How did you get into you job? Sorry for asking so many questions. Sincerely, K.

Thank you so much for coming. I bet everybody in the third grade liked your presentation. The maps you brought were really cool. I want to thank you again for coming. I also want to thank your Helper James for coming too. You couldn't do it without him because he helped bring the maps and put them up. I really loved your presentation myself. Sincerely, S.H.

I liked that you came to see us today. I learned how big you are here and how you help the schools, fire departments, and the police. I think you did a very good presentation. Thank you for teaching us. I learned that you have six helpers. Do you work with the president? Sincerely, J.H.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to teach us about what you do. I appreciate that you told us about your schedule. You help people, (like my parents) pay their taxes. You're super at your specialization. You help a lot of people everyday of your life (except weekends!) with problems like tax paying. If someone had too many taxes to pay for no reason, then you would help lower the prices. You are a awesome person. You are running an wonderful community. You are excellent. Your friend, A.

I couldn't bear letting your presentation go without showing my appreciation. I am a third grade girl and you have truly inspired me. I never before really understood what you were all about, but now I doubt I will ever forget. COBOS, I've got to ask you, “do you think we were good?” I hope so. Also I hope this thank you letter is enough to state all of my happy emotions towards you. Sincerly, J.W.

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