Clinton student letters to President - featured in new national book

Dear President Obama:
I always call you Rocky Balboa because it sounds just like your name. I always see you on TV, and you are always talking to the people.   I am proud because there has never been an African American President.  I am proud because you are the same color as me.  At our School Vote, I voted for you.  Good luck being our president and I hope I can meet you someday.  Sincerely, Nyir Kuek

Nyir Kuek is a student at Clinton Elementary School and his letter, along with some of the writings and artwork of his classmates at Clinton, are featured in a brand new national book called: "Dear President Obama: Letters of Hope From Children Across America."

Clinton held an assembly this spring to honor these students, whose works have become the heart of the new book, both geographically and thematically, according to Principal Mona Manley.

"Congratulations, we now have published authors at Clinton Elementary,"  Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent Susan Gourley told a cheering group of students and staff at Clinton's assembly.

Manley read a letter from the book's authors, Bruce Kluger and David Tabatsky, telling the children that the "future is in your hands.  Your words, your dreams carry us all forward...This is not just a book, but a vision of the world you want to live in."

The book's authors contacted a select group of schools across the country, including Clinton, and asked if their students would like to write a letter to the new President.  The book's forward explains:

"In nearly 200 letters and drawings from every region of the country - from the seventh-grader in a Manhattan private school, to the nine-year-old in one of the poorest schools in Nebraska - these children, ages 4 through 18, do what kids do best: enunciate their hopes, fears and dreams about the world they live in, and their unchecked excitement about the historic election that took place during their young lives."

Clinton's students are featured throughout the book.  In fact, Jason Phan, 5, drew the artwork that appears on the cover and Taylor Lengel, 9, wrote the line that has become the slogan for the book: "Dear President Obama, you should be on all the dimes in the world."

Here are the letters written by Clinton students, included in the new book.

Taylor Lengel: "Dear President Barack Obama: I'm so happy you won!  You are the best President on the earth!  You should be on all the dimes in the world!"

Samir Al-Salimawi: "Dear Mr. Obama:  How old are you?  I'm going to ask you another question.  How many hats do you have?  Can I have one of your hats?  You are the best friend.  Do you want to know how many games I have?  I hope you will do a good job of President.  Yep, how did you know? I gest."

Anthony Nguyen: "Dear President Barack Obama: I like you because you are a nice president.  You are a beautiful president. You have a most beautiful wife and kids.  My teacher's name is Mr. Banks.  He is a nice teacher.  My friends like you, too."

Daniel Cavazos: "Dear President Mr. Barack Obama:  How does it feel to be the new President of the USA?  I am in second grade.  My teacher name is Mr. Banks.  I love you Mr. Barack Obama.  I hope you will come to see us at Clinton School.  We are ready to see you Mr. Barack Obama.  You are a nice president Mr. Barack Obama.  We all love you Mr. Barack Obama!  I want to be the new President too. We all want to be the new President of the USA!  We all voted for you.  I'm glad!  But remember.  WE ALL LOVE YOU!"

Judy Truong: "Dear President Obama: Thank you for being our President.  I am 9 years old.  It has always been my dream to be a veterinarian.  I want you to change the world by saving the poor cute animals.  After that you don't need to do anything."

Tommy Nguyen: "Dear President Obama: Can you shut down cigarette stores because people smoke every year to be cool and then they die.  If people show other people then they get addicted and keep smoking in front of the family.  Then it is hard for them to breath.  If you do it in front of babies they probably would start coughing.  A person keeps on smoking your lungs will turn black.  Thanks for listening."

The book also includes drawings by these Clinton students: Amanti Debelo, Nyagaak Deng, Nyir Kuek, Anthony Nguyen, Jason Phan, Camille Sullivan and Emilio Zuniga.

Published: April 29, 2009, Updated: May 4, 2009