E-book reveals kids’ hopes for Obama

NEW YORK (AP) âÄî End war, forever. Make the planet greener. Please help my dad find work. Make it rain candy! Thousands of kids detailed their hopes and expectations for President Barack Obama in letters and drawings as part of a worldwide project, with 150 chosen for a free e-book being released on Presidents Day. Most had tall orders for the new guy in the White House. Anthony Pape, 10, of Du Bois, Pa., offered: âÄúI hope that we will have no war ever again. I mean why are we fighting why canâÄôt we all be friends.âÄù Fellow 10-year-old Sasha Townsend of Soquel, Calif., had a similar request, and then some. âÄúI would appreciate it if you would try to make this a greener planet and try to bring home the troops and end the war,âÄù the fifth-grader wrote. âÄúI am very luckey because I am not part of a military family, but it saddens me to hear about all the people who die in Iraque and know that somewhere In the world people are greiving over a lost family member.âÄù Seven-year-old Aaron Van BlerkomâÄôs letter was simpler âÄî but no less problematic. âÄúDear Mr. Obama,âÄù the Pasadena, Calif., first-grader began, âÄúPlease Make it rain candy!âÄù The âÄúDear Mr. PresidentâÄù project was a joint effort between the National Education Association and kidthing.com, which is putting out the book for use with its downloadable media player. A special hardcopy edition of the book will be sent to the White House for Obama, who has done wonders to bring the office of the presidency to life for young people. The letters were written in January amid Obama-mania at inauguration time as schools scrambled to bus kids to special viewing events and come up with computer screens and TVs for them to watch in classrooms and auditoriums. Kids ages 5-12 were eligible to participate. Submissions flooded kidthing, including some from other nations. Lawrence Hitchcock, chief executive officer of the Web site, said more than 4,500 letters were considered for the book on a heart-wrenching range of topics. âÄúWe had, âÄòMy dadâÄôs out of work, fix the company, please get more jobs,âÄô Hitchcock said. âÄúThere were Latino kids saying, âÄòPlease change the immigration laws so my dad can come back from Mexico.âÄô This is a profound snapshot of a social narrative of young kids during an important moment in history. It really kind of stunned us what came in through the front door.âÄù