By By LINDA KELLETT/For the Recorder
Test yourself. How much do you recall about our first and 16th presidents? Without looking, can you identify which head of state appears on the penny? the quarter?
Area youngsters taking part in a special President’s Day program at the Amsterdam Free Library on Saturday morning had an opportunity to test their knowledge with a simple multiple choice quiz. The answer to each item was either “George Washington” or “Abraham Lincoln.”
Here are a few of the questions:
Who was the “father of our country”?
Who fought in the American Revolution?
Who was president during the Civil War?
Who was the “great emancipator”?
Who was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth?
Who helped draft the Declaration of Independence?
Who wrote and gave the Gettysburg Address?
In addition to the optional quiz, the 3- to 13-year-olds listened to a story about our 16th president, “Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln” by Doreen Rappaport; made finger puppet presidents (using pennies and quarters as faces); and did coloring and word search pages related to the President’s Day theme.
Library Youth Services Specialist Katie Capel, who led the activity, distributed handouts that gave a brief overview of Washington’s and Lincoln’s lives and presidencies along with some important dates and a few quotes.
She also included a sheet encouraging the children to practice writing a letter to the current president. In addition to reinforcing letter-writing skills, she said the activity might help the children feel connected to our nation’s chief executive, whom a couple of the children were able to identify.
Capel said, “They put the president so high on a pedestal, they might think that they can’t write letters to him.”
As noted on the handout, “The president (and other elected officials) need to hear from the people they govern. Anyone can write a letter to the president of the USA. All of the letters that arrive for the president are read by staffers, and all of the letters are answered.”
In addition to explaining the purpose of the letter in the body, it should include a brief introduction with the student’s name and address and a request for some type of response (for example, support of some legislation).
The envelopes should be addressed to The President, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500. Return addresses should also be included, along with proper postage.