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1st-Graders’ Campaign Pledges: Football, Bikes and Vacations

October 17, 1996

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) _ You think Bob Dole and President Clinton are making campaign promises? Check out what first-graders at Rosedale Elementary School say they’d do if elected president.

``I’d make everyone play football _ even babies and girls,″ pledged 7-year-old Mitch Viars, who thinks the current president is George Washington. ``There will be 1,000 people on each team. They’ll play other countries like South Carolina.″

On the economy, Keegan Varner pledged to give all poor people $100.

``I’d go to their house and give it to them myself,″ he said. ``I’d do this whenever they get poor.″

On transportation: ``I’ll buy people bikes,″ Scotty Ballard said. ``They are more fun than cars.″

On job benefits: ``I’ll let everyone have a vacation any time they want,″ Travis Amburgey vowed.

As for health care, Lauren Ritzi said she’d pick her dad as her running mate.

``He’s a dentist and he could brush everybody’s teeth,″ she said.

And what about that character issue?

``I will never point my finger at anyone,″ Katherine Gaker pledged. ``When you point at someone, three of your fingers point back at yourself.″

Everyone can learn a lesson from her kids, said Ann Veith, a 25-year teacher who does the project with her class every presidential election year.

``It’s a different world in here,″ she said. ``That’s why I love teaching first grade. They’re so innocent and naive _ and happy.″

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