by Mary McCarthy, Editor
Governor Martin O’Malley today surprised a group of students at Chadwick Elementary School in Baltimore to personally answer a letter they wrote him about ending childhood hunger.
In December, students from the third, fourth and fifth grade wrote letters to the Governor as part of a class exercise to raise awareness about caring and citizenship. The Governor visited Chadwick to talk with the students about the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger and the importance of giving and community.
This morning at a school assembly, children composed a letter to President Barack Obama asking, “Can you help us stop hunger?” and adding, “Together we can conquer hunger.” As they read their letter aloud to Governor O’Malley, the Governor surprised them by entering the room. There was a collective gasp of surprise from the schoolchildren. Governor O’Malley met the children who had written the letter and told the kids “We can do anything we set our minds to do. It’s kind of hard to do anything well at school if you’re hungry.”
Governor O’Malley told the school community that he is inviting the 21 principals across Maryland that do not offer school breakfasts to the Governor’s Mansion to attempt to convince them otherwise. He told the kids that when he was growing up, there was no internet or Google, stating, “Just like you coudn’t imagine a world without the internet, people can’t imagine ending hunger,” adding, “but feeding a child is simple.”
The Governor took several questions from the kids, who in addition to asking about ending hunger, also asked about safety, cutting taxes, education, and whether his job is complicated.
Governor O’Malley answered their questions, pointing out that Maryland offers the best public education system in America for the third year running, and telling them “the more you learn, the more you earn.”
Answering the question about his job, O’Malley stated “In one sense it’s simple, and in one sense it’s complicated. People all want the same thing- they want to enjoy the health of their families, the health of the environment, and people want to be giving, caring people who make the world a better place. There aren’t a nicer, harder working group of people anywhere than there are in Maryland.”
He told the kids and their principal and teachers that he’d never visited a better behaved, bright group of kids in all his travels, finally adding,
“I’m very proud of you for what you are doing to eradicate hunger.”
Before he left, the Governor promised the children he would hand deliver their letter to President Obama in a few weeks when he visits the White House.
This past November, the Governor celebrated the second year of progress for the Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. The Administration has also set a goal <http://www.statestat.maryland.gov/GDUhunger.asp> to become the first state to eliminate childhood hunger within its borders by 2015. Maryland is only one of 13 states to offer afterschool meals to children. The state provided meals to 17 percent more students than two years ago – the second-largest increase of any state in the nation at a time when participation was declining nationally. To promote a healthy breakfast, Maryland provides morning meals to 11,600 more kids per day than two years ago.
Photo Courtesy of Baltimore County Public Schools.